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Goodbye "Disruptive," Hello "Relevant" As the Word Du Jour

The word "relevant" has become so prevalent that it's almost impossible to avoid, most often in the last place you'd imagine: the business page. One recent example, from McDonald's CEO Don Thompson in Businessweek: "We've lost some of our customer relevance." What kind of relevance is he talking about? The quality of the meat? The bun? What does relevance mean today to a fast-food giant?

When it's no longer enough to spend on advertising and expensive branding exercises, and social media is leading the charge, brands have to be relevant. Now they must connect with the consumer more directly, one-to-one. And how exactly are they planning to do that? These companies have been good at moving merchandise, not talking. So how will McDonald's communicate to the consumer? Some brands now have their own newsrooms, publishing stories they hope will resonate with their desired demographic. Go to the Pepsi website and you'll find a story about the Grammys, as if PepsiCo were another publishing company. Major media companies now routinely license some of their content to brands for use on their websites. Need a story on Nicki Minaj in the hope that your customers will think you fashionable and fun? There's a service that will set you up with that. They hire brand ambassadors, real people, to identify with. They make viral videos of skateboarders and street artists. All in the hope of being relevant to their customers via culture.

In the '60s, relevance was king. "Is it relevant?" was the question on the lips of every longhaired, counterculture, radical pot smoking pseudo-activist hippie worth their patchouli oil. Passing the relevance test was all that mattered. Antonioni's Blow-Up, for example, was relevant. It wasn't overtly political, skirting the edges of ennui in its depiction of an unsettled state of mind. But it was disturbing, even off-putting if you weren't in tune with the zeitgeist at a time when the world was divided between the heads and the straights. If you were Republican and a defender of the status quo, then you didn't get the relevance of a tennis game played in mime. But it was terribly relevant. Youth culture, the catalyst for change then as the Internet is today, demanded meaning beyond entertainment, and the word "relevant" was the litmus test used to determine value. We wanted our own stars and heroes, not the ones prescribed by box office success. Entertainments with no redeemable social significance were avoided like people over 30. To watch one of the Real Housewives of... shows would've been unthinkable.

As years progress, the codes and mores of youth culture are absorbed into the mainstream, the world moves on, attitudes shift and before too long bling and box office replace relevant as the touchstones of aspiration and success. "Sell out," the cri de guerre of the original relevant decade, becomes a moldy oldie uttered by those who just "don't get it." Business evolves from the last thing you want to be a part of to something you can't avoid if you want to be a player in a world where everyone is a brand with their own digital megaphone to get the story out.

Journalism is another example. After barely surviving the first wave of the digital revolution, major players like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Washington Post have recently seen star journalists leaving to start their own media companies. They no longer need the media dinosaurs who gave them their platforms for so many years. Now they can be entrepreneurs with their own brands. The Washington Post's Wonkblog editor Ezra Klein's departure from the Post elicited this tweet: "Ezra Klein leaves the Washington Post. Last shred of Post relevance leaves, too."

With this issue we begin our 30th year of relevance, my secret gut check with every idea that has ever been presented at the thousands of editorial meetings I've attended over the years. Being famous has never been enough. Whether it's the fashion we identify with -- as in this Spring Fashion issue -- or the cover stars we champion, there's always a perceptible rattle in the back of my mind asking me if it's relevant. Chelsea Handler is relevant as a straight-talking role model, the only woman on late-night TV with her own talk show. Carly Rae Jepsen continues her unpredictable journey as an overnight viral sensation with a stop on Broadway, making her instantly relevant. And Angel Haze, a brave young rapper and self-described pansexual is if nothing else, relevant. Enjoy the kickoff of our 30th year and stay... relevant. 

Lindsay Lohan's New Oprah-Approved Reality Show Preview


When we first heard that Lindsay Lohan was filming a reality show for Oprah's OWN network, we silently raised an eyebrow. And now with the release of the first official trailer...that brow's still up there. While it's interesting to watch Lohan tell the cameras that she feels "like a prisoner" and get into some drama with the Big O herself, this "docu-series" looks like it's gonna be a bit of a white knuckle watch. Simply called Lindsay, the show follows Lohan's return to New York and her attempts to get her act together and takes a more intimate look at the actress' years-long struggles with substance abuse and issues with her parents. And although the 24-hour news cycle, endless celebrity gossip blogs, and social media all make it easy to guess how the show -- rather, Lindsay's life -- plays out, it's still interesting to watch footage of the actress that's not mediated by TMZ or US Weekly. Take a peek at the trailer, above.

The Grand Budapest Hotel Star Tony Revolori Is Our New Max Fischer

Before he landed his costarring role in Wes Anderson's swashbuckling new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Tony Revolori, now 17, would structure most days thus: "Wake up, grab my guitar, play a little bit, practice, go out with my brother and do some fun activities." Some light Googling reveals that Revolori and his big brother Mario have played gigs, posted videos of their songs, and even released an album of polished pop-rock. This is not the first time Anderson has led a Southern California kid from the all-ages scene to the A-list: around the time Revolori was born, Jason Schwartzman starred in Anderson's cult hit Rushmore when he was a member of L.A. rock darlings Phantom Planet. And like Schwartzman's indelible portrayal of the prep-school overachiever Max Fischer, Revolori's Zero Moustafa, a wide-eyed lobby boy under the command of the titular hotel's brilliantly manic concierge M. Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes in his Anderson debut), is both hilarious and heartbreaking.

Then again, Revolori, who grew up in Anaheim, has been acting almost as long as he's been walking, with parts in Entourage, My Name is Earl, Shameless, and the movie The Perfect Game, which also features his brother Mario. (Both Tony and Mario auditioned for the part of Zero; somehow, neither one was strangled in the process.) 

On location in Germany, Revolori kept spry by reading Shakespeare with Fiennes, checking out music recommended by Schwartzman, who also plays a concierge in the film, and cranking up his favorite band, the Rolling Stones. His #1 Stones song? "I'd have to say, 'You Can't Always Get What You Want.' It's so true." Strange words from someone who seems to be getting exactly what he wants. But maybe it's that mixture of humbleness and ambition -- a mixture shared by Zero -- that makes him such a good lobby boy.  

The Grand Budapest Hotel is in theaters on March 7th.

Grooming by Mitesh Rajani

This True Detective Yellow King Theory Will Blow Your Mind


A crucial True Detective theory about who the Yellow King actually is. Can't believe this show has been fully decoded so early in the game. [Uproxx]

Behind the scenes at the Oscars with Ellen, Jennifer Lawrence, Benedict Cumberbatch, the pizza guy and more. [TastefullyOffensive]

This clip of George Clooney and Jean Dujardin doing fake elevator and stairs routines before they go on a French talk show is the movie Monument Men SHOULD have been. [Hypervocal]

 tumblr_n0r23ybC7H1rtqq35o1_500.jpgWe'd watch. [FYouNoFMe]

Stetson the horse loves his snow, y'all! [TastefullyOffensive]

tumblr_mipg30TjMQ1r3gb3zo1_500.gifRude. [FYouNoFMe]

Nathan the Hairless Chinese Crested dances to Pharrell's "Happy." [Hypervocal]

Azede Jean-Pierre: An Emerging Designer You Need to Know Now


Photos courtesy of Azede Jean-Pierre

When a style-setter like Solange Knowles wears a look from your debut collection to the New York premiere of her sister Beyoncé's HBO documentary, you're clearly doing something right. And 25-year-old SCAD-trained designer Azede Jean-Pierre certainly is -- after presenting her second collection as part of MADE Fashion Week Spring 2014, Jean-Pierre's name rippled through the fashion world as one to watch. Focusing on clean lines with a twist -- a cut-out here or a rounded hem there -- Jean-Pierre's clothes are a visual treat. Finding inspiration in nature, including landscapes and insects, Jean-Pierre creates abstract patterns, which she imprints on knits or infuses with vibrant colors. "It's really important to me that there is something interesting," says the Haitian-born, Atlanta-raised self-appointed tomboy. "And I feel like I have something different and unique to say." Keep talking Azede; we're listening.

Miley Cyrus Stars In a Downer of a Beach Party for Marc Jacobs

fae636f9-ce5a-4e04-9549-cb53bd3f2463.jpgBummer in the Summer. Marc Jacobs' new ad campaign starring Miley Cyrus laying around in some sandy beach dunes is the most depressing thing ever, and it's awesome. It's very Emily Brontë-meets-Annette Funicello, no?

As has been previously mentioned, Jacobs' longtime collaborator Juergen Teller did not do this campaign and it was instead shot by British photog Davis Sims. A  few photos have been floating around for a bit but recently Marc & Co. treated us to the full thing. Take a look above and below.


Chanel, Jeremy Scott and Why Food Packaging Is Fashion

YAY: Finally my longtime obsession with supermarkets (and superdupermarkets!) has hit the fashion runways. Welcome to my world! I adored Jeremy Scott's amazing Cheezy-Bits  and Hershey-bar gowns for Moschino -- a show that had everything that had to do with the cheeze of pop culture:

Moschino-Jeremy-Scott-Fall-2014-Fashion-Show-Milan08.jpgMoschino-Fall-2014-Hersheys-dress.jpgJeremy Scott X Moschino

But Karl Lagerfeld's bedazzled shopping baskets and genius grocery aisle sets for Chanel (complete with Chanel Mayo, Chanel soda and Chanel rice cereal) sent me over the edge.

I've always wanted fashion brands to do food. Supermarkets, as I discuss in the below 2002 Q&A with Murray Moss on Target, are very design-centric. They color-code and do something called "striping" -- essentially color blocking. It's visual, repetitive and about as pop as you can get. In the '70s, generic food came in white packaging that said what was inside in big black type -- which was the design inspiration behind the early black and white issues of Paper. There's something so chic about packaging that says exactly what it is.

Maybe there's a superdupermarket Chanel and Moschino booth in our future?




And speaking of fashion in supermarkets, check out this ThreeASFOUR-styled grocery store spread from our April 2000 issue.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 3.36.56 PM.png
Click to enlarge

My May 2002 Q&A with Murray Moss, Target and the brilliance of big-box design:


10 Etsy Finds: The Biennial Edition

1. Brad Troemel, sensual ROSE with mildly customizable 6 inch Subway MEATBALL with red onions, black olives, and swiss cheese (Show them you love) Have silly

il_570xN.419943136_bshy.jpgEphemeral Subway sandwiches are turned into "pure gold," or at least an art object that commands $60, through the artist's alchemy. 

2. Amy Louise Worrall, Small Naked Pyramid (2) Wall Plaque

il_570xN.525714180_kw33.jpgObsessed with the impossible forms of bodies and their parts, Amy creates sculptures like "Boob Vase" and "Small Naked Pyramid," pictured above.

3. Scott H, Robert Downey Jr. With Real Hair

il_570xN.531754512_fj31.jpg"This is a 20cm x 20cm canvas of Robert Downey Jr with actual hair for the hair. It is my hair that I cut off and stuck on with glue." Art is suffering.

4. Angela Rossi, Shay Sheep, School Portrait

Portrait of the Artist as a School-aged Sheep.

5. Andy Morris, The Bed Print (Tracey Emin)

il_570xN.561919965_70fx.jpgA re-imagining of Tracey Emin's My Bed (1998) in LEGO. The artist calls it, "one of his classics."

6. Faye Moorehouse, Twerking
il_570xN.497735364_la7y.jpgA work of art that truly captures the zeitgeist.

7. Bryce Wymer, Phalanx Set A

il_570xN.326882441.jpgA wood-block sculpture that can be taken apart to recreate your own work of art. Make sure to have your reappropriated sculptures ready to submit to the next Etsy Biennial!

8. Leah Goren, Cobalt Eye Dish

il_570xN.573024479_mjzj.jpgA statement against the NSA and our modern surveillance state? An exploration of the female gaze? What is art.

9. Danielle Spector, Mike Tyson Baby

il_570xN.292134174.jpgMike Tyson Baby asks us to look inward, at the Mike Tyson baby in us all.

10. Monica Ramos, I hate selfies

il_570xN.450347956_cvaa.jpgNo you don't.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Meticulous "David After Dentist" Is Spectacular


Joseph Gordon-Levitt (street name: Jo Go Lev) was on Jimmy Kimmel after the Oscars Sunday and performed a first-rate rendition of exploitative-parenting YouTube classic, "David After Dentist." Last night, Kimmel showed the side-by-side of Gordon-Levitt next to the original and it really is a crazy-good performance. This should be forever. [Uproxx]

Lindsay Lohan and Jimmy Fallon had an epic water war on the Tonight Show last night. [Uproxx]

In case you were wondering what True Detective in the style of the Law & Order opening credits might look like... [LaughingSquid]

Miss, for a dollar: It's the Billy On the Street season 3 trailer! [BillyEichner]
And for dessert, diabetes! [TastefullyOffensive]

tumblr_n21vs9Kh0Z1srn44ao1_1280.jpgUm, this is your favorite new Tumblr: Starring Diddy, in which P.Diddy is dropped into hit TV shows. The results are so weird, and so good.

dmc-tumblr_mz67n6JH3D1s0sc01o1_500.jpgHave a cool weekend! [Losetheboyfriend]

Chef John Fraser Talks Narcissa and Vegetable Power

STEV_JohnFraser_HR_ThomasLoof.jpegCalifornia boy John Fraser has presided over the swank, Michelin-starred Upper West Side restaurant, Dovetail, for the past six years. Now the chef divides his days between uptown and downtown, where he's the culinary mastermind behind André Balazs' Standard, East Village hotel. Just-opened Narcissa is the main attraction, where crisped beets do time in the rotisserie and steamed black bass sits in a bath of fragrant curry. Here, Fraser talks Thomas Keller, Montauk summers and the power of the vegetable.

Restaurants have long relegated vegetables to side dish status, but several years ago you ambitiously put them at the forefront of Dovetail, most notably in the form of Monday night vegetarian prix-fixe menus. What do you think now that more and more chefs are putting vegetables in the limelight?

As a guy who likes to try and eat mostly vegetables when I go out, it's super exciting. I think it's growing out of a movement of people wanting to be healthier. There's also a fun, contrarian thing happening; I guess the equal and opposite reaction to pork belly is to go toward vegetables. Sourcing ingredients locally and going to greenmarkets hasn't changed, but now we are focusing -- and places like Gramercy Tavern and Gotham Bar and Grill have been doing this for a while -- on vegetables as the main dish.

Ten years ago you staged at L'Arpège, the Paris restaurant chef Alain Passard has made a revered vegetable temple. How did that experience shape your passion?

I actually staged at L'Arpège before taking a position at Taillevent, and it was interesting to see the difference between their cooking philosophies. Taillevent was very much in the style of a New York City restaurant where all the dishes created were based off of recipes and there was a rigid focus on execution. L'Arpège was the opposite, with a spontaneous menu that changed from day to day and dependent on which vegetable was having its moment in the season. Passard would often serve a vegetable more than once in a meal, which makes sense seasonally, but isn't something we see often in restaurants. The big takeaway from my time in Paris was that these two schools of thought don't have to be opposing to each other; they can work together and create beautiful dishes. We are doing that at Dovetail, and now at Narcissa.

The night I ate there it was bustling and Judith Light and America Ferrera were a table over. It is certainly a different scene than the Upper West Side's.

There's definitely a downtown vibe at Narcissa, whereas Dovetail is maybe more of a special event. It's always nice to have people who know good food, but it doesn't matter who's there. We're going to cook the same way every night.

The food at Narcissa is inspired by California cuisine. We often hear this term, but what does it mean to New Yorkers?

The idea of California cuisine is kind of broad, like the idea of Chinese food. As a person who grew up in California there has always been an emphasis on ingredients for me. In New York we can fall into the habit of how cute we can get with food, but California cuisine means touching it less. For example, we cook meat on the bone here, which preserves flavor.

You had the ultimate crash course in California cuisine working with Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. What was one of your most valuable takeaways from that era?

I was fortunate to work next to Thomas for two years and the biggest lesson I learned from him was one of his favorite sayings, 'Treat it like it's yours because some day it will be.' From the moment you start working at the restaurant, you take a lot of ownership and it's ingrained in your head to treat it like it is your own kitchen. It wasn't long before I owned my own restaurant and I have to credit that lesson to Keller, as it made the transition from chef to chef/owner much easier for me. A heavy emphasis was also placed on having respect for our ingredients. A lot of times we had to actually pick the vegetables we needed for a dish that evening, and that makes you think more about the produce than when it just arrives to your doorstep.

Bouncing around the two restaurants you probably don't have time to eat out at much, but where do you like to go?

My favorite restaurant in New York is Basta Pasta. I love the transparency of the kitchen and the fact that it is completely wide open. The food is super simple and I love the way they handle their vegetables. They serve a mushrooms en papillote that is absolutely incredible.

You spent time cooking in Montauk before it became the hipster answer to the Hamptons. What do you think about it now?

I love the idea of what Montauk represented when I was there, this place far away from civilization, very chill and blue collar. I think Montauk has the infrastructure to keep it from ever becoming the Hamptons, but I'm kinda torn about its popularity. On one hand it's not my secret anymore, but on the other I'm happy more people can appreciate such a beautiful place and the locals have come to peace with it and embrace the scene the summers have turned into. At the end of the day, people who want to get away and relax and have fun all look the same -- hipster or not.

Photo by Thomas Loof

Three Must-See Off-Broadway Shows

Our tireless bowtie-wearing, iPhone-toting theater critics, AndrewAndrew, review three of the season's most exciting new Off-Broadway shows. Find out what they have to say in their insta-reviews, below!

The Open House

Playwright Will Eno's work is bizarre and often sublime and his latest piece, The Open House, is the first time we've seen him try to be funny. Can this cast of stage veterans walk Eno's tightrope between surreal tragedy and situational comedy?
The Open House is at the Signature Theatre, 480 W. 42nd St., New York

Stage Kiss

Stage Kiss is a play about actors and about plays and about how actors lose themselves in a character and find each other in a play. When ex-lovers are cast opposite one another can they maintain their composure or will they lose the battle with their unresolved emotional demons? More importantly, can playwright Sarah Ruhl make us care about a couple of emotionally-stunted narcissists?
Stage Kiss is at Mainstage Theatre,  416 West 42nd Street, New York

Satchmo at the Waldorf
Louis Armstrong might be best remembered for his hit "Hello Dolly" from the musical of the same name. The one man show Satchmo at the Waldorf is a more, shall we say, understated affair. Does Armstrong still pack a punch without a backing band? Find out in the full review!
Satchmo at the Waldorf is at Westside Theatre Upstairs, 407 W. 43rd St., New York

SXSW 2014: Top 10 Bands We're Most Excited to See

SXSW graphic.jpg(Photos from Billy Farrell Agency)

SXSW officially kicks off today with Interactive and Film and although the Music portion doesn't get going until Tuesday, we've gotten a head start and rounded-up ten acts headed to Austin that you absolutely can't miss.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.11.29 PM.png1. SOPHIE

SOPHIE's sugary-sweet and hyper dance track "Bipp" made major Internet waves seemingly seconds after it was released. Fans know the mysterious producer is from London and apparently male, which is surprising given his penchant for working with bubbly-voiced females and all of his flowery pink lady-centric imagery. What's definite is that big things are coming for SOPHIE and you should get in on the action as soon as you hit SXSW.

- Empire Garage on Wednesday at 8:45pm
- Hype Hotel on Thursday at 11pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.30.04 PM.png(photo by Jake Thomas)

2. Perfect Pussy

You may not be able to print their name, but trying to silence the attention-grabbing punk of Perfect Pussy in any way is near impossible. The Syracuse-based band drew attention with their passionately screamy four-track EP I have lost all desire for feeling and now the band's got their full-length LP Say Yes to Love coming out this month. Fans of noise-punk and bruising crowds should see this band live.

- Pitchfork Day Party at The French Legation Museum on Wednesday at 12pm
- House of Vans: Stereogum showcase at Mohawk on Thursday at 12pm
- Dr. Martens showcase at Bar 96 on Friday at 5pm
- Red 7 Patio on Friday at 11:20pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.14.02 PM.png3. Future Islands

Fronted by the husky-voiced Samuel T. Herring, Baltimore band Future Islands makes the sort of moody-boy brand synth-pop fit for the tape rotation in Lloyd Dobler's boombox. Although the band's latest album, Singles, isn't due out from 4AD until March 25th, you can catch these dudes all across SXSW. Another reason to catch them live? Herrings's dance moves, as seen on Letterman.

- Spotify House on Tuesday at 8pm
- Under The Radar at Flamingo Cantina on Wednesday at 2:25pm
- Cheer Up Charlies on Thursday at 1am
- Pitchfork Day Party at The French Legation Museum at 12pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.14.59 PM.png4. Kelela

Kelela mixes stripped-down electronica and techno to craft her own personal brand of seriously haunting R&B. Her songs are glittery, a little creepy, and definitely worth hearing live at SXSW.

- Empire Control Room on Wednesday at 8pm
- House of Vans: SPIN showcase at Mohawk on Wednesday at 12pm
- Pitchfork Day Party at The French Legation Museum on Thursday at 12pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.17.52 PM.png5. The Casket Girls

Formed by Georgia-based sisters Phaedra and Elsa Greene and friend Ryan Graveface, The Casket Girls' bizarre brand of dream-pop gets reinvigorated on their sophomore album True Love Kills the Fairy Tale. The record's title combined with the Alice in Wonderland-referencing song "Day to Day" alone indicates that this trio really knows how to deliver some hazy, tripped-out music.

- Half Step on Wednesday at 7pm
- Austin Psych Fest at Hotel Vegas on Thursday at 4:15pm
- Flowerbooking at Cheer Up Charlie's on Friday at 12pm
- Home Slice Pizza on Friday at 2:40pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.20.14 PM.png6. Big Ups

When the hellfire that is any music festival ever created gets to you, head to wherever Big Ups are playing. Sometimes screaming, sometimes drole and apathetic, these raucous Brooklyn rockers are worth catching in the (enraged) flesh.

- House of Vans: Stereogum showcase at Mohawk on Thursday at 12pm
- Exploding In Sound BBQ at Todd's Mansion on Thursday at 12pm
- Exploding In Sound Showcase at Hole in the Wall on Friday at 11am

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.28.42 PM.png(photo by Jacob Biba)

7. Angel Olsen

Folk ain't dead in the songs of Angel Olsen, whose music somehow alternates between a sort of Emmylou Harris-esque classical country vibe and a rock 'n' roll/borderline psych sound. Her beautiful album Burn Your Fire For No Witness has won many hearts, including ours -- and we don't doubt for a second she'll win yours too.

- House of Vans: SPIN showcase at Mohawk on Wednesday at 4pm
- Central Presbyterian Church on Friday at 6pm
- Red Eyed Fly on Friday at 8pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.25.11 PM.png8. Dum Dum Girls

Dee-Dee's famously black-clad band isn't putting out the same-old lo-fi '60s girl pop it used to. Don't worry though, the Dum Dum Girls are still just as witchy as ever. With their new album Too True out, it's evident the band has honed their sound in this '80s goth-evoking, synth-laden record.

- House of Vans: SPIN showcase at Mohawk on Wednesday at 4:15pm
- Radio Day Stage at the Austin Convention Center on Thursday at 3pm
- Tumblr House at Clive Bar on Friday at 1pm
- Check Yo Ponytail at Empire Auto Garage on Saturday at 2:15pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.26.31 PM.png9. Tacocat

It's hard not to love a band that pens "Crimson Wave," a song that might be the funniest ode to menstruation ever. Tacocat's made a name for themselves in Seattle with their infectious, bratty garage-pop and now you can catch these fun girls live at SXSW. Just start practicing you're yodel-esque pronunciation of "Hawaii-eee-aie" now.

- Subpop Record Rummage at Macefield on Thursday
- Hardly Art Showcase at The Liberty on Friday
- Get Off the Internet! Showcase at Cheer Up Charlies at 11:45pm

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 3.28.01 PM.png10. Real Estate

The notoriously chill Real Estate seemed to have gotten a little melancholy on their latest record Atlas, but that doesn't mean these dudes haven't left behind their jangly, toned down surf rock sound. You won't want to miss the band's latest beach-worthy (and, just a little, cry-worthy) new material IRL.

- Radio Day State at the Austin Convention Center on Thursday at 1pm
- Bar 96 on Thursday at 8pm
- Central Presbyterian Church on Friday at 6pm

Lucius Go Sixties Mod Chic In "Turn It Around"


"Truthfully, we wanted to rock out onstage a little more." When the Brooklyn five-piece Lucius graced the Sound Bites page of our October 2013 issue, singer Holly Laessig shed some light on the band's evolution from singer-songwriter duo to stylish indie powerhouse. The video for "Turn It Around," which appeared yesterday, has them rocking out in classic dawn-of-the-sixties style, evoking everything from "Countdown" to "Zou Bisou Bisou."

The Best, Worst and Weirdest of the Week

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 6.35.04 PM.pngBest Argument For Getting Tattooed Anywhere But Your Face: This Times article describes an unbelievable case in which a guy was mugged in Staten Island by a guy with a lightning bolt tattooed on his face -- but not the guy from Staten Island with the lightning bolt on his face they found. -- James Rickman

Best Biennial of the Week: The Whitney Houston Biennial: I'm Every Woman. There were an overwhelming amount of art shows this week but this one takes after one of the fiercest Whitneys to ever grace us with her earthly presence. The exhibition, which showcases some of New York's most talked about female artists, is on view one day only this Sunday. -- Gabby Bess

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 7.02.44 PM.pngBest New Tumblr of the Week:
"Starring Diddy." -- Abby Schreiber

Most Ridiculous Mixtape Idea Ever:
HBO will release a new mixtape inspired by 'Game of Thrones' called 'Catch the Throne', which features Big Boi, Wale, Common, and Daddy Yankee. Nice reference to 'Watch the Throne,' guys. I suspect some of the sound titles will be "Lannistas in Paris," "Some Zombies In The Wild," "Welcome to the Night's Watch," and "Why I Hate You, Joffrey." -- Sarah Bellman

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 6.58.45 PM.pngNuttiest Shoe We Saw During Paris Fashion Week:
Miu Miu's pointy-toed galoshes with screws as heels. For fashion's sake! -- Maggie Dolan

Biggest 'Oh God, What Are You Doing' of the Week:
Thurston Moore confirming that he is, in fact, an oblivious 50-something-year-old man with an embarrassing Facebook account in the grips of a lame and predictable midlife crisis. Just like our dads and everything! -- Elizabeth Thompson

Best Music Video of the Week:
Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX's Clueless-themed video for "Fancy." -- A.S.

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 6.25.52 PM.pngSecond Biggest 'Oh God, What Are You Doing' of the Week:
John Travolta's latest shoe polish doll-hair wig. This all must be so exhausting, John. Just do the Oprah OWN interview, move to Hawaii and finally start living. -- E.T.

Best Network Ticklefest: Lena Dunham and The National, on this very sweet SNL promo. Look at Matt Berninger's face! Look at it! -- J.R.

GIRLSarchie.jpegBest Millennial Fan Girl Anouncement: Archie comic lover Lena Dunham (she's just like us!) will be writing a four-part series comic for series focusing on the girls of Riverdale. -- M.D.

Photographer Chuck Grant On Channeling Her Inner 14-Year-Old Boy

chuck 1 700.jpgThough she's shot plenty of portraits of stylish ingénues and high-fashion chanteuses for New York magazine and Rolling Stone, photographer Chuck Grant says she's most drawn to simple, clean looks. "I think fashion can make a statement, but I don't think it has to," says Grant, who, for Gap's Styld.by campaign, paired her  pin-stripe Fitted Boyfriend shirt with a pair of skinny baroque-print jeans. .
chuck 2 700.jpgStill, Grant, who jokes that her no-frills every-day style comes closest to a 14-year-old-boy's, believes that, "what you wear can shape your perspective on your whole day." And for her, it's about erring more on the simple, sporty side.
Grant, who starts her day with intensive yoga classes most mornings, grew up in Lake Placid, New York, where she says playing sports was expected. "There's an Olympic training center there, so winter sports are a big sources of pride. I was forced to do figure skating when I was younger, and then it was skiing and snowboarding."
Whether it's yoga pants or jeans and a button-down, Grant says that she's been more or less channeling her "basic side" her whole life.

"I've always been a tomboy, and felt more aligned with boys than girls," says Grant. "My hair might be like the only feminine thing about me."

chuck 4 700.jpgHead to Gap Styld.by for more of Chuck's look.

If Girls Was a Biblical Movie


Lena Dunham hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend and one of the episode's many highlights was this trailer for Girls ... if it was a blockbuster biblical movie.

Stop what you're doing and watch SNL's Taran Killam do a fantastic True Detective-y impersonation of Matthew McConaughey. "Supper time, pot luck, and daddy brought it all."

Here's a crazy video of a 7-year-old doing a perfect impersonation of Billie Holiday on Norway's got talent. What? How? Who? [DailyDot]

Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert play an intense round of "truth or truth."

jonhammtumblr_n25l2xbp5c1ru72puo1_400.gifYour new reaction GIF for everything. [MattsGIFs]

XSYL.pngOfficially proposing marriage to whoever wrote this caption. BE MINE! [Mlkshk]

pino tumblr_n2365hljkv1ql5yr7o1_500.gifEmergency, call the cops! [RealityTVGIFS]

mayortomforddst2014.jpgRob Ford doesn't know how daylight savings works. [Dlisted]

XSIX.jpgReal talk. [Mlkshk]

Monday is brought to you by these BEST DOGS IN THE WORLD patiently waiting to be called to dinner. [TastefullyOffensive]

Ten Thoughts On Girls' Latest Episode: "Role-Play"

Screen shot 2014-03-10 at 12.32.43 AM.pngThis week, Hannah and Adam have a little role-play and Shoshonna pulls off a family reunion.

1. Will Joe and Hannah ever get it on?
Joe is a slightly confusing character. For a show in which it seems like everyone has an agenda, it's hard to figure his out. Call me a cold-hearted, cynical bitch, but is he actually that guileless or does he have feelings for Hannah? I thought he liked their other colleague, Karen, but from the start, he did seem to pay special attention to Hannah. Plus he really went above and beyond to take care of a drunk co-worker and let her crash in his bed. Yeah, maybe I am a jerk and he's just a really, really nice guy.

2. Now that Adam is so preoccupied with the play, he wants to coast in his relationship with Hannah
Hannah's fears -- and some of our predictions from two episodes ago -- are coming true: the more wrapped up Adam gets in the play, the less mental bandwidth he has for her. While it was obvious that Hannah was stung when he rejected her advances, what seemed to be more troublesome -- and speak to a larger issue -- was his apparent nonchalance over the fact that she didn't come home the night before and slept in a male co-worker's house. Macho, alpha Adam is so focused on his job that he can't even get jealous (or concerned). Instead, he brushes the episode aside and asks Hannah what she thinks of his costume. As we mentioned two weeks ago, what scares Hannah is not so much the fact that he has a new job (and new friends) but the fact that their relationship, where Adam is concerned, has primarily existed in a vacuum. Even Elijah talks about never really 'knowing him.' On a certain level, Hannah has always been able to balance her friend and work relationships with her romantic one but we've never seen Adam have to do that. Hannah is slowly realizing that Adam can no longer be counted on to play the 'constant' -- he has his own shit going on now and that terrifies her.

3. Poor Marnie can't catch a break
You could practically feel Marnie's stomach butterflies through the TV/computer screen when Desi was singing those lines about wanting a woman in his bed blah blah blah. But, as he referenced two episodes ago, he has a girlfriend, Clementine (yes, the paella Clementine), and that's who he was singing about. But was he really? No operator that smooth would sing lyrics like that (even if they were 'improvised') to a pretty young woman in his apartment without knowing the effect they'd have. He had to have been trying to seduce Marnie a little bit and it's our guess that as soon as she called him out on it, he snapped out of the moment and decided to stay faithful to his girlfriend. As Lena Dunham said in the 'Inside the Episode' segment, she and the other writers intended to keep their relationship ambiguous and I'll be curious to see whether Desi keeps Marnie at bay or if he becomes another Booth Jonathan type who seduces her without ever intending to pursue any kind of meaningful relationship.

4. Why is Shosh putting up with Jessa's drug use?
Did anyone else think it was weird that Shoshonna allowed Jessa and Jasper to turn her prim Nolita apartment into their own little drug den? We know she idolizes Jessa and so the only answer I can come with is that she's too scared to set boundaries and to tell her cousin to move out. But it's only a matter of time. Throughout the season, we've seen Shosh learn to become more assertive -- with her friends, with her new guy (Ed. note: What's happened to him??) -- and pretty soon she's going to realize that enabling Jessa is worse than pissing her off with an ultimatum to go back to rehab or move out.

5. And speaking of Jessa and Jasper, what exactly is going on with them anyway?
Are they boning? Considering Jessa's repugnance toward Jasper when he tried to hit on her a few episodes back, their new rapport seems awfully cozy. And although a lot of that has to do with the fact that they're high, part of me has always thought that high or sober, Jessa's strong-willed enough not to take anyone's shit. So, that must mean one of two things have changed: he's stopped making advances towards her OR she acquiesced at some point and they're getting it on. What do you think?  

6. How amazing was Shosh's hair?
It made her look like she's the newest member of the Pussycat Dolls. So, so good. But, hair aside, this episode made us reflect a bit more on Shoshonna's plotlines. The episode was called "Role-Play," and Shosh's role here was that of a family counselor. But what kind of counsel is she getting for herself? It's kind of great that she surprises Jasper by bringing his estranged daughter to dinner and it's even better that her scheme seemed to work but at what point this season will we get to see her tackle her own issues? The beginning of season three really seemed to set some interesting wheels in motion for Shosh, what with her sexual exploration and her anxiety over graduation but for the most part, these plotlines still seem unfulfilled. We never got to see much of Shosh's wild times (or hear about them) and, as we mentioned earlier, what the hell happened to her supposed boyfriend? It feels odd that for a show that revolves so much around male-female relationships, he's just disappeared in thin air and we haven't even heard her talk about him. There was so much potential to make Shosh's story arc so interesting this season but so far that potential seems largely untapped. With only two more episodes left, let's hope we get a 'Graduation Day' episode where everything finally comes to a head. (Also among the four girls, Shosh is the only one whose parents we haven't met yet. Can you imagine what the Shapiro parents must be like?)  

7. Two observations about Hannah's banker's wife role play:
1. Only a creative writer could've come up with that amazing fake husband name ("My husband Marfaniel was stuck at work").
 2. Did anyone else catch Hannah slipping into a 'Real Houswife of New Jersey' accent for a nano-second?

8. How the hell would Marnie have let Hannah and Adam use her apartment?
We're going to play the 'reality police' for a second: there is NO WAY Marnie would've ever let Hannah and Adam use her apartment to have 'kinky' sex in -- especially sex that involved food. Not. buying. it.

9. Loved that Adam even had sex in that coat
Way to be consistent, guy.

10. Hannah and Adam's final scene could be a case study for a Gender Studies class
It's interesting to consider again the episode's title, "Role-Play," and the roles each of the characters inhabit. There are literal roles (Adam in his play, Hannah as the banker's wife) and those that blur the lines between playing a part and actually being that person. Shosh as a pseudo-family counselor, for instance, or Marnie as a songwriter or Jessa as a junkie. These are labels that might initially feel funny to these characters but we see them all adjust and, for better or worse, wear them more comfortably. Shosh is surprised -- but ultimately pleased -- that she actually has efficacy for once and was able to pull something off like the Jasper/Dot reunion. Marnie is initially embarrassed to share her songwriting with Desi but becomes more confident through his encouragement. And Jessa -- oh Jessa -- seems resigned to the fact that she's using again and has a serious problem.

Then there are also gender roles. Through the housewife-meets-lonely man fantasy, some major truths emerge in Hannah and Adam's relationship. We already talked about Adam being a very macho male type and it's not surprising that Hannah's fantasy -- or rather, Hannah's idea of what Adam's fantasy might look like -- would involve very stereotypical gender roles or that, during the role play, Adam would revert to calling her a 'slut' and putting her down. But, what's a little more surprising, is the fact that these attitudes are not just part of their game. Conscious or sub-conscious, we learn that these are beliefs Hannah and Adam hold on some level. We learn Adam might not respect Hannah as much as we thought he did when he denigrates her job at GQ and Hannah, for her part, admits that her concern all along has been to please Adam and to spice up their sex life because she assumes he must think it's lacking. Nowhere does she mention wanting to shake things up for her own sake -- for her own needs and desires. Their entire conversation about "having sex like we used to" revolves around wanting to return back to the early days when Adam would dictate the fantasy and Hannah's shocked that Adam doesn't want (or doesn't need) to do that anymore. As we said last week, Hannah may be a cool writer living in Greenpoint but at the end of the day, her attitudes are not so different from her mother's. I'm pulling for these two but there have been some major issues brought up these last few episodes and I'm not sure their relationship will be able to survive Adam's moving out.

Best Lines of the Episode:

"This space is amazing! It's right by Opening Ceremony!" -- Marnie
"Opening Cemetery. Their prices will be the death of me." -- Soo-Jin

"How old are you?" -- Marnie
"2-4, girl! But for the cred and intrigue of the gallery, I'm gonna tell people I'm 22." -- Soo-Jin

"This is the coat that I'm actually gonna wear during the show. They said I could take it home and break it in for a couple weeks. So I'm just gonna be doing stuff I normally do around the house like organizing my newspapers and eating muffins and going to the bathroom -- I'm just gonna be doing it in the coat." -- Adam

"You've got some darkness in you." -- Desi
"A lot of that is stuff I wrote on Ambien." -- Marnie

20 Things Inside Woody Harrelson's Mouth on True Detective

If you're still catching up to True Detective, careful, there's spoilers below.

True Detective
wrapped up last night, giving an audience that had breathlessly devised so many complex and intriguing finale predictions and ending that was obviously on sale, the wrong color and not even from the more-far-away mall in the nice neighborhood. (Just give us cash next year, True Detective.) We did, however, get a few parting shots of Matthew McConaughey's nipple in the final scene, so at least there was that. And although McConaughey's husky country-fried Camel Lights drawl made his metaphysical babbling and ridiculous one-liners like 'l'chaim, fat-ass' so priceless, Woody Harrelson was the one who could draw out a vowel like nothing else, sounding like he had something large and squishy in his mouth for much of this season's eight episodes. But what was in his mouth this season? We have 20 guesses below.

1. A wad of Fruit by the Foot that he stuck to the roof of his mouth just to see what a retainer might feel like.

2. Themes discussed in an AP English essay.

3. A Pace Picante commercial.
4.)  Everyone over-thinking it.

5.) Left over Banh Mi from that time he and Rust went to the Vietnamese restaurant, a business that would totally exist and thrive in the depths of rural satanic-methhead Louisiana swamp land.

6.) A red herring that's N 2 buttseks. 

7.) Dolls, the ominous tinkering of a music box and Spanish moss, all lightly dressed in Elmer's glue and served with a slaw of loose ends.

8)  Something that would make a grown man SCREEEEAM!

9) The ghost of macho man Randy Savage. 

10) Loose change and walking around money.

11)  5 hardy squirts of ranch.

12) A gill-like vestige that just showed up one day but probably filters the second-hand smoke of 20,000 Camel lights, so he won't ask the doc to give it a look.
13) Two guys just being guys.

14) The phrase "pizza lunch."

15) A cookie party!
16) Someone yelling, "that's IT?!

17) Something he's been meaning to ask Rust for the past 10 years.

18) Riddles.

19) An old lady with an amazing memory for house painting rates in 1994 eating a Werther's Original in an old folks home.

20.) Disappointment.

The Grand Budapest Hotel: The Amazing Backstories Behind 10 Memorable Props

Ralph Fines.gifSo you've had the weekend to escape into another Wes Anderson-ian fantasy by watching The Grand Budapest Hotel. You've commissioned a Boy With Apple painting knockoff, and you're still searching for L'Air de Panache on Etsy. It's cool. We've been daydreaming about all those amazing props in the movie, too, so we grabbed the film's prop master, Robin L. Miller, on the phone to give us the lowdown behind the film's stand-out pieces. Many of the movie's props get their own close-up shots -- we know Wes Anderson's serious about his stuff -- and it turns out, he's as obsessive in his devotion to perfecting every object as you'd expect. "He is an absolute part of every step," Miller says of working with the auteur. "You have to come up with what he has in his imagination and believe me, it is quite a process. Everything has his touch."

Ranging from the beautiful (Lust-worthy pastries! Prada luggage! Perfume bottles!) to the bloody (the "throat slitter," brass knuckles with skulls, a dead cat), most of the props underwent an extensive development process with prototypes and several revisions. And, according to Miller, Anderson wanted local craftsmen from the historic town where they filmed (Gorlitz, Germany) to create pieces whenever possible. From getting a local chef to serve up a thousand of those pastel confections Agatha kept churning out to working with a world-renowned designer, Miller gives us the backstory behind the ten most scene-stealing props used in the film.

AgathasNecklace copy.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Agatha's Necklace
Miller hunted down Gorlitz artist Heidemarie Klinger, who creates little delft blue hand-painted porcelain pieces at her Gorlitz porcelain shop, to produce the Society of the Crossed Keys necklace Agatha (played by Saoirse Ronan) wore in the movie. "I said, 'I'm going to be back twenty times with changes from our director so please bear with me,' and she did until the bitter end," Miller says of working with Klinger, who trained in Meissen, the nearby town known for porcelain manufacturing. "Anytime I walked in, I thought she would throw me out and say, 'I've had it with these movie people!'"

But ultimately everyone was happy. "I had told her, 'What you make will be six feet up on the screen' and she ended up coming to the wrap party," Miller recalls.

Luggage.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Prada Luggage
For the elaborate luggage, there needed to be countless matching pieces, but what Anderson wanted didn't exist outside of museums. The director tapped Miuccia Prada -- with whom he has a close friendship -- to come up with the one-of-a-kind-cases lined with mauve satin. Anderson went back and forth with Prada, swapping metal for brass, keeping the color, but vetoing the texture, until they were just right. "We had a guard for them while they weren't shooting," Miller says.

Perfume.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

L'air de Panache Cologne
In the movie, Monsieur Gustave (Ralph Fiennes) sprayed himself with the musky scent so generously that people could smell him even after he left the room. It's also the first comfort Gustave demands once he's a free man. Anderson had Mark Buxton, who co-owns the French fragrance house, Nose, create the honey-colored perfume, and Miller explains how the cube-shaped bottle with its pump came to be:

Wes went back and forth for weeks on every aspect from the atomizer to the color of the liquid inside. Every aspect had to be tested and looked at before I went off and improved the drawings to take back to him again. None of this really exists. You don't find anything on the shelf.
budapesthotleNewspaper.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Reason #1 to snatch the DVD and hit pause: Wes Anderson writes all the newspaper material, from the front cover to the interior pages. "It was months and months of coming up with typefaces. You can read all those composed stories even though it's just a quick flash," Miller says.

CourtesansAuChocolat2.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Courtesan au Chocolat Pastries
Local pastry chef Anemone Muller-Grossman created the movie's heavily featured three-tiered mini-cakes topped with mint green and bright pink frosting. "We would have them make 1,000. I had her on call because she had to whip those things up," Miller remembers.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 2.21.33 PM.pngBoy with Apple Painting
Madame D, the dowager Monsieur Gustave H. beds (played by a barely-recognizable Tilda Swinton) is so taken by him that she bequeaths this Renaissance portrait to the concierge. Depicting a solemn young man in velvet and lace cupping a green apple, it was painted by the fictional Johannes Van Hoytl the Younger. "That was a jumping off point for Wes," Miller says. "I remember it was one of the first things he needed done, and he found an amazing artist and he basically commissioned this. It's exquisite in person, and Wes would keep it in his wonderful apartment. It was an inspiration to him I think."

BrassKnuckles.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Brass Knuckles
In a movie full of memorable characters, Willem Dafoe's hitman, Jopling, stands out. And so do the brass knuckles he wears while going on a killing spree. "Wes said, 'Hey Robin, what about skulls on them?' OK, I never thought of that. You just never know the direction he's going to take," Miller says. Luckily Wes's friend, Waris Ahluwalia (who stars in the film as M. Dino), is also a jeweler, so he customized them to fit Dafoe's hand. "The minute he put them on, he had that funny demonic look in his eye," Miller recalls.

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 2.21.24 PM.pngThroat Slitter
"Who's got the throat slitter?" Gustave asks of his new buddies at the medieval-era prison, and they use it to divvy up a pastry. "The throat slitter was a total process. He [Anderson] writes it in there and the first thing you think of is a straight razor so I sent him bits and pieces...and I'd make prototypes of each one of them," Miller says. "He would slowly modify and ask, 'What would be the most threatening? How do we make it the nastiest?'"

DiggingTools.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Digging Tools
Agatha smuggles tools into the prison by tucking them into Mendel's pastries so Mr. Gustave can dig his way out of the cell. "I started at the flea market in Berlin and just found prototypes and then Wes approved them," Miller says. "He'd say, 'I like this, but make this smaller because they need to be things that would fold up.' It took me awhile to get his concept...but I had a wonderful fabricator who literally sculpted all those things and remade them to scale."

budapesthtelCat.jpg(Photo courtesy of The Grand Budapest Hotel)

The Cat

Miller created the cat that Adrien Brody chucks out the window with cut-outs, plywood and fake fur. "That was a big deal," he says. "[Anderson] would change it and make it bigger and smaller and apply all the blood. You can't make a mistake because he [puts] a last touch on everything."

Kim's Note: It's All the Same But Different

Lately I feel out of breath standing still. Like I'm living in the most exhilarating moment possible, yet am perched on quicksand. The 21st century has thus far thrown the world into the craziest reinvention mode imaginable, and I love it. I've always been a radical at heart and a fan of change, so I feel lucky to be alive during this great pivot. And I feel even luckier to have straddled in my lifetime two vastly different centuries -- an evolution from analog to digital that has triggered a thrilling and dramatic wave of fallout. Huge industries, from publishing to retail, have gone topsy-turvy before my eyes. Hell, who needs drugs? It's a rush just to witness the shift -- where everything that used to be true isn't anymore, and those who used to be powerful have become irrelevant faster than you can say WTF.

As a member of what I call the "straddle generation," I've lived in both worlds. It seems like yesterday (although it was actually 25 years ago!) when I was typing up stories for those early issues of Paper on my chic green '70s Hermès typewriter. Only five years later, I began to dial up every day with a new little slowpoke device called a "modem" (that plugged into my telephone). This enabled me to connect to the mysterious "World Wide Web," where I'd enter complicated "DOS" code to log onto pre-browser bulletin boards so I'd be able to communicate with like-minded people about stuff going on in our alternative universe. 

Yup, I've straddled. Big time. I've traveled Europe with lire, pounds and francs (and euros after that) in my pocket, yet just last week I learned how to download a bitcoin wallet (although I still don't understand how to "mine" for them). Early in my career, I used to develop rolls of film in canisters by shaking them back and forth, then printing photos from the negatives in a dark closet redolent with chemical fumes. A few months ago I scanned my own face and printed a 3D bust of myself that now sits on my desk as a paperweight! I learned to take my own photo when I was in art school by using a time-release on my Nikon camera, running in front of the lens before the shutter clicked. Meanwhile, I've just now finally figured out how to take a semi-flattering phone selfie (from above). Speaking of phones, I remember them with dials on them. Oh yes, and the technological miracle of fax machines, which many of my creative friends used obsessively as a substitute for leaving voicemails in order to pass along information. Then came the cell phone. Russell Simmons, of all people, was the one who taught me how to use this contraption. He was the early cell phone adopter in our crowd and always had his big clunky telephone glued to his ear everywhere he went, talking incessantly whether in restaurants during dinner or front row at fashion shows as he eyed the supermodels walking by. 

Technology didn't just affect our devices. As the digital age took over, I was thrilled by the democratization that these new tools offered indie types like me. After all, I'd built my early career as an independent, rebelling against the big business model -- which I felt was outdated -- by creating a business based more on community, creativity and innovation than process. Once the Web was juiced up, innovators crawled out of the woodwork with compelling ideas and began to grab the spotlight using the power of the Internet to attract gigantic audiences. I secretly loved that it blindsided the corporate status quo, panicking the old-school big guys who used to run the show, forcing them to acknowledge the "power of small" and indie and try to pivot fast in order to survive and succeed in this new paradigm. (Not easy.) I love that real opportunity in the 21st century is available to anyone with an amazing idea, a great voice and the guts to throw it out there. 

Everything may have changed from where I sit, but so much is really still the same. In this futuristic era of bitcoins, drones, glassholes, cyberterrorism, Klout and fantasies of romances with operating systems, it's so interesting to see that hand-cranked coffee grinders, slingshots, heirloom marijuana seeds, sign painting, axes and artisanal bread-making are trending. Change is all around us, moving faster than a speeding bullet, but the urge remains to slow down. The reach of the Internet is vaster and bigger than anyone could have ever imagined, but the power of small is at the forefront of this revolution. So whether Siri is transcribing your ideas through voice recognition or you're pounding out thoughts on an old typewriter, this straddler is here to cheer on the wild ride and remind you that this brave new world is still the same. Just different.