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Modern Love: Carrie Brownstein Stays Hungry

Carrie Brownstein doesn't normally like to look back. She made this exceedingly clear on "Entertain," one of the standout cuts from her iconic group Sleater-Kinney's 2005 album, The Woods, a song in which she tore into a class of rock bands that she felt were rehashing the past without offering anything new ("You're such a bore/1984/nostalgia/ you're using it like a whore"), a cardinal sin in the eyes of this ever-restless spirit. So you wouldn't think she'd be one to write a memoir or get the old band back together, but rock 'n' roll is unpredictable that way.

A year later, Brownstein's band was done. Sleater-Kinney pushed themselves and their listeners to try harder and feel more, which took a toll, especially on Brownstein. After their break-up, she laid low for a few years and made a go at civilian life. Eventually, she formed a new band, the short-lived Wild Flag, and co-created the gentle hipster spoof Portlandia for IFC.

A decade later and in the midst of the busiest year of her life so far, one that has seen her star in two buzzy television shows (she's also a regular on the acclaimed drama Transparent), appear in Todd Haynes' new film Carol, headline the Pitchfork Music Festival and even throw the opening pitch at a Seattle Mariners game, Brownstein now finds herself back in Sleater-Kinney, touring behind a new album after a nine-year hiatus, and about to release her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl.

She insists there is still no love lost between her and nostalgia, though she's aware of the irony. While writing Modern Girl, which follows her journey from an awkward Pacific Northwest teenager with an absent mother to "finding salvation through creativity" by forming Sleater-Kinney, Brownstein strove to avoid rock-book hagiography. She focuses as much on the heartbreak and strife of her time in the band, looking unflinchingly at the dysfunctions that eventually tore it apart, as she does on the highs of young love and conquering the world with your friends.

"I feel like there's enough perspective in the book that it's not overly sentimental or glorifying," she says, calling from Los Angeles during a Portlandia production break. "It's not a 'these were the days' book."

Modern Girl details Brownstein's time getting indoctrinated into the more-punk-than-strictly-necessary world of Olympia, Washington's Riot Grrrl scene, falling in love and then breaking up with her bandmate Corin Tucker and her complicated relationship with her father, who came out as gay after she'd already been outed by the press. Even though everyone she cares about knows what is coming, she says that "about two weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night in a state of sheer panic" out of fear of her loved ones' reactions to her putting everything out there. But it's not like she had any other choice.

"I am a guarded person, and I am someone who really values privacy, but there is a level of honesty and transparency that I wanted to relay," she says. "It seemed like to hold things back didn't serve the narrative."

Though Portlandia is why Brownstein is famous, Sleater-Kinney is why she's legendary. Her TV career isn't touched on at all (though she says her experiences in the crunchy Northwest music scene serve as "the seeds" for Portlandia), as Modern Girl ends shortly after the band does, with the closing chapters dedicated to her struggles to adjust to life without them by throwing herself into volunteering at a local animal shelter ("It was kind of like getting over a relationship," she says of the time. "You can't predict how long it's going to take") and an epilogue about their first show in almost a decade. Though the first show provides a fitting closing, Brownstein actually started writing the book before she, Tucker and drummer Janet Weiss decided to make another album.

"It was so strange in its synchronicity that it almost felt like through writing about the band, I somehow exhumed this corpse," she says. "It felt so alive to me on the page when I was writing about our tours and our recording sessions, and then all of a sudden, it was like I conjured the spirit of the band again, and we were practicing."

While Brownstein was willing to look back in her book, Sleater-Kinney wanted to look forward. They pushed themselves to avoid sounding like a nostalgia act and instead created No Cities to Love, one of the best rock albums of this year.

"We were concerned about retreading a version of the band we had already done, or putting out something that didn't push the story of the band further," she says.

Modern Girl offers a stark look at the strain that touring life took on Brownstein; she talks openly about her battles with depression and anxiety, including a difficult-to-read account of her nervous breakdown, which ultimately ended the band.

"If people perceive you as happy and funny but inside you're hurting, I think it can be hard to break through and let people know you're suffering," she says of her decision to be honest about her struggles. "It's just a hard conversation to have, I think, no matter what."

Though she now feels fortunate not to be stuck on the tour-record-tour "hamster wheel" of the working musician, Modern Girl makes clear that, as famous as her other gigs might make her, fans don't need to worry about completely losing her to acting. While there are no immediate plans for another Sleater-Kinney album, Brownstein says, "It doesn't feel like we came back just to do one more record. It feels like we came back to have this be a continuation of our lives. There is something so fundamental about music to me. It feels so necessary and fulfills a recklessness that just can't be stated otherwise."

Laurie Anderson On Her New Film, Heart of a Dog

Headshot_Laurie Anderson.jpg"If I were Woody Allen, I'd call my film Love and Death," says Laurie Anderson.

But she's not Woody Allen. She's Laurie Anderson and she calls her movie Heart of a Dog.

Laurie Anderson has been an art star for more than 30 years. As a musician, performance artist, multi media maven, writer, philosopher and filmmaker, her impressive skills are on display in this memoir-meditation-sound poem/film. It begins improbably with Anderson giving birth to her rat terrier Lolabelle and ends with a story that brings the movie full-circle. It's quite a feat considering it connects so many dots from the intensely personal to the aforementioned love and death, the surveillance state and 9/11, a hallucinatory mise en scene all told in Anderson's soothing voice-over. It's one of those "you gotta see it movies" because it defies description and is so damn good. New York Times critic A.O. Scott praised it as a "philosophically astute, emotionally charged meditation on death, love, art and dogs."

HOAD_Stills_04_Christmas Card.pngAnderson's dog, Lolabelle, playing the piano

Anderson was among the first artists to combine music, technology, multi-media and performance art. Her single "O, Superman" addressed issues of technology and communication and rose to #2 on the UK Singles Chart and topped the Village Voice Pazz and Jop singles poll in 1981.

Though she could have been a star by focusing on any one discipline, she chose to color outside the lines in a place all her own. Except for Home of the Brave, a 1986 concert documentary, she has limited her cinematic output to smaller works that often accompany her performances. With the advent of diy filmmaking equipment, including the home movies, iphone, drone and Go Pro footage included in this film, her outlook changed.

"Film does absorb a lot of the things that I like doing," she says in the confines of the lower Canal Street loft she has lived in since the '80s and shared with her late husband Lou Reed who died in 2013. "And so I thought why haven't I made another film? I think probably because it sounded like too big a project. I didn't realize that you could make a film on a shoestring. The last feature film I made was a long time ago and that was just hundreds of people and equipment and it was just daunting and I like to be much more fly away these days, just kind of do things that you don't have to fundraise forever."

Her work has always utilized technology. As early as the late '70s, she exhibited a motion-activated sound sculpture at Holly Solomon Gallery. I wonder if she had some training in electronics. "It was Canal Street," she says. "It was going to those electronic stores which have mostly disappeared. And getting stuff from the bins and tinkering around with stuff and seeing what they would do. I liked that. I was just a tinkerer. I still am."

HOAD_Stills_06_Laurie X Ray.jpgLaurie and Lolabelle

Which kind of fits in with the way the movie came together -- tinkering. "I started with some dog stories and then when it became a short story collection I thought, what do these have in common? What is the engine here? The engine in a way is how energy shifts. In the middle of this movie is a book -- the Tibetan Book of the Dead. That's sort of the model. How energy is expressed in that book in a hallucinatory way is what I hope the rest of the film is about as well. In the center is a very condensed version of how the senses dissolve and the consciousness drops away and what's left of you and your life. And it's also about the fallibility of words. Even though it's a story about words and how they can fail us."

Though the movie has many threads and associations, it hangs together cinematically and sonically, her violin and voice escorting us through the landscape. "It's really about stories," she says, "and why you make them and what happens when you forget them. And what happens when you repeat them what happens when somebody tries to tell your story for you and it's all wrong and you can't stand it. It's not a film about getting to know me. It's full of questions about how do you remember things."

Love and Death are the themes of Heart of a Dog. The death of her great love Lou Reed in 2013, closing the movie with his metaphysical "Turning Time Around."

Lightheartedness is very important to me," she says. "I've been doing a lot of improv lately and that's really a lot of fun."

Comedy? I ask.

"Well, I've got some aspirations for standup," she says. So who knows? Laurie Anderson the next Woody Allen?

Migos And Zaytoven Remixed Fall Out Boy And It Is The Best Thing Ever

Fall Out Boy...in the bando? With Quavo and Takeoff guest verses on their remix of "Irresistible"? Has 2005 me timewarped and melded with present day me? Or have I just died and gone to heaven where unthinkably amazing musical collaborations happen? IDK guys, I can barely contain myself right now, so while I collect myself you should go listen to the magical melding of what is bound to be a pop punk-trap classic below. Holy shit.

[h/t Stereogum]

Paper Radio Recap: Kate Hudson and Nick Jonas, Nightlife Nowstalgia and Highlights from Our Launch Party

In this week's episode of Paper Radio, Drew and Chrissie sat down to talk about the best celebrity sightings -- like spotting John Mayer working out at Equinox -- and give previews of this year's Halloween costumes (Spoilers: Chrissie is gonna be a pregnant Kim Kardashian and Drew is gonna be a "gold disco thing"). Other topics included Kim Kardashian's weird pregnancy-themed birthday bash and Laverne Cox being casted as Frank-N-Furter in the new Rocky Horror Picture Show remake. 

Special guest this week was regular Paper Magazine contributor Michael Musto who has a new show on Logo called Cocktails & Classics where he and a panel of guests watch classic movies and talk about them, like a more lively version of TCM's At The Movies. Musto also recounted the golden era of New York City nightlife sharing memories of Studio 54 and the Club Kids of the '90s. Musto also recap'd his recent Top 10 lists about the Best Witch Movies and Best Dirty Gay Joints in NYC. 

This week was also a big one for music fans. Adele is back! Her new album is coming next month and she's now on Instagram. Gwen Stefani blasts her former relationship with Gavin Rossdale in her new song "Used to Love You." Drake's "Hotline Bling" became an instant meme with turtle-necked dad dancing and James Turrell-inspired visuals. And Justin Bieber's new track "Sorry" produced by Skrillex & Blood has an awesome dance video to accompany it. But the real revelation this week was the possibility that, according to her dad, Beyoncé might actually be lying about her age! Listen to a few highlights from the show, below.


100 Years of New York Nightlife: Of Megaclubs, Performance Art and Celebutantes During the Go-Go '80s

In our October 'Nowstalgia' issue we're taking a look at 100 Years of New York Nightlife, tracing after-hours trends to their beginnings and analyzing the ways our nocturnal habits of the past continue to influence our habits of the present. We've already kicked things off with the Roaring '20s, the exclusive Post-War era, and the glittery, disco-tinged 1970s. Today we focus on how the 1980s amplified mega-clubs, mixed crowds and the rise of the "celebutante." Check back for future decades each day.

A girl at The Roxy. Photo by Steve Eichner

The 1980s were a time of wealth, greed, activism and great nightlife. In lieu of celebrity-driven clubs like Studio 54, downtown developed its own hot spots filled with its very own celebutantes like Dianne Brill and Elizabeth Saltzman, all willing to help create a good time, not just look for one. Danceteria was a multi-floor haven for big hair and music acts like Romeo Void, the Beastie Boys and an up-and-comer named Madonna, as the witty German co-owner Rudolf Piper schmoozed the VIPs and handed out drink tickets. Area was an ambitious club owned by cucumber-cool Eric Goode and company, who redid the place every five weeks with elaborate themes. (For "Confinement," the invite was a Chinese finger trap, and for "Childhood," a friend and I cavorted in adult diapers, posing by the gigantic plushie teddy bear, while sensing that the club's energy had finally diffused. Sure enough, that was their last theme.) And at the sprawling Palladium, 54's Steve Rubell had his last incarnation, catering to trend-seeking downtowners through the hot art of the day (Jean-Michel Basquiat in the Mike Todd Room, where DJ Anita Sarko ruled, and eye-popping murals in the aptly named Kenny Scharf Room downstairs).

Ann Magnuson outside Club 57, 1980. Photo by Harvey Wang

Bridge-and-tunnel people ran rampant at places like Limelight, and yuppies had their own playpens (like the Surf Club) at which to act all rich, drunk and proud. Picture guys in suits with their top shirt button open and gals in little black dresses, all cavorting under the great God vodka, an antecedent to the Meatpacking crowd. But the primary strain of nightlife consisted of gigantic dance clubs like the aforementioned Area and Palladium, filled with downtown socialites looking to get photographed while flouncing around in glitzily eclectic get-ups. Fortunately, there was a counter-strain -- the East Village scene, which fostered performance artists, drag queens and anyone else willing to go out on a ledge and creatively dangle there. Club 57 hosted art shows, performances, parties and theme nights where you were apt to bump shoulders with Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Jean-Michel Basquiat or the space's vivacious manager and ringleader, Ann Magnuson. At comfortably ragtag clubs like the Pyramid, you could try out material, offend people, titillate them and do just about anything except bore them to death.
But AIDS started rearing its hideous head in the early '80s, and in '87 the activist group ACT UP formed to stage protests, roll around in the streets and generally call attention to the ways in which the epidemic was totally ignored by the Reagan administration. Sex became terrifying, so clubs were more valuable for networking and self-advancement than for hooking up, with some people dressing up to get media attention while scaring potential suitors away. And a certain militancy infiltrated nightlife, especially when Dean Johnson -- a 6'6" bald guy in a dress -- yelped angry but funny raps at wildly lived-in places like the World, where he threw the weekly Rock 'n' Roll Fag Bar.  Meanwhile, gays of color found their own place of worship at the Paradise Garage, the long-running dance club where DJ Larry Levan hypnotized them with "Heartbeat" and other songs that made them never want to leave.

RuPaul at Pyramid Club, 1989. Photo by Linda Simpson

The same year that ACT UP was created, everyone's favorite spiritual granddad, Andy Warhol, died, leaving a creative  abyss that led to everyone taking time off before the nightlife regrouped to make way for an onslaught of club kids, who picked up where the celebutantes had left off.  And then the decade was over, having left us with a head-spinning batch of press clippings.

But the '80s nightlife ethic lives on in today's use of clubs for multimedia (visual art, projections, performances), as well as in the renewed appreciation for the mixed crowd, an '80s idea that brought unlikely bedfellows together and created nocturnal magic. Nightlife is always cyclical, so I'm sure someday Manhattan will even be home to lots of big dance clubs again, and though I doubt they'll be as brilliantly carried out as the '80s ones, they'll definitely try.

Happy Drake Day: Presenting the A-Z of Aubrey

Saturday, October 24th, is Drake's 29th birthday. It promises to be a pretty good one for him -- he's come close to breaking the internet with his dorky, trippy, and all-around Drake-like video for "Hotline Bling," a song that's close to landing on the top spot of the Billboard charts (his first time as a solo artist). He's coming off a pretty successful summer. And he's about to head into the studio to finish off his highly-anticipated next album, Views From the Six.

One of the most impressive things about Drake's career is that he's managed to create a minor self-contained mythology for himself, complete with long-term, soapy romantic interests (Rihanna, maybe Nicki Minaj), villains (Meek Mill), older sages (Lil Wayne), and a whole host of personae and associated outfits. As a way of diving into this cosmology, let's take a trip through the world of Aubrey Drake Graham with this, the PAPER A to Z of Drake.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.18.40 PM.pngA is for Acura: Back when Drake was starting from the bottom, he drove a 2004 Acura TSX. "This is my baby, I guess," a then-"Aubrey Graham" tells the camera in this "Degrassi Unscripted" clip from 2004 with all of the unbridled enthusiasm of an 18-year-old boy. "It's a nice first car for like a teenager, I guess." Drake would graduate to better whips over the years, but mentions of his beloved Acura still appear in his lyrics, from "Worst Behavior" ("This ain't the son you raised who used to take the Acura / 5 a.m. going shoot Degrassi up on Morningside") to "Schemin' Up" ("I used to drive an Acura to school / Now I don't touch the wheel unless it's new.") Drake got to where he is now in a Honda, and don't you forget it.

B is for "Back to Back": Drizzy's second diss track against Meek Mill during their protracted beef. While the song itself clearly blue Meek's "Beautiful Night" song (aka yelling) out of the water, it was Drake's performance of "Back to Back" at OVO Fest in August complete with a screen displaying anti-Meek memes made by fans that convinced most people that Drake had won the fight. 

C is for "Champagne Papi": Drake's Instagram handle and a pseudonym that calls to mind men who wear silk shirts unbuttoned down to their pectorals and thin gold chains. Speaking of which...

D is for Dominican Drake: One of the best parts of the Drake internet cosmos is the vast body of memes that suppose (often with some evidence) that Drake is low-key Dominican, or at least loves Dominicans. He makes a lot more sense this way. Head over Remezcla, where Dominican Drake expert Isabelia Herrera has you covered.

E is for Exes: Oh man, oh man, not again. Like seriously, is there anyone else other than Drake who you're allowed to listen to post-break up or in the bathroom at the club when you see your boo with a new squeeze? Yeah, that's what we thought. 

F is for Forty: Noah "40" Shebib is Drake's long-time producer, engineer, and overall musical collaborator, well-known within the world of OVO (he's the co-founder of the label!) but not necessarily a household name if you aren't from Toronto. (Though the former child actor wasin the Virgin Suicides.) Still, keep the tracks he's worked on ("Marvin's Room,""Started From the Bottom,""Hold On We're Going Home") if you're looking for a clue about the sound of the new album.

G is for God, Six: Drake's upcoming album is called Views from the 6 and his last mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late, features several mentions of his hometown of Toronto as the six It turns out, however, that referring to Toronto as "the Six" is, more or less... totally, deeply not a thing. BuzzFeed got on the case with the feature, "Drake Is Trying To Get People To Call Toronto "The 6" For Some Reason." The piece points out that two of three area codes in Toronto end and being with the number 6 -- 416 and 647-- but otherwise most people, including Torontonians, had never heard the phrase used before. There's also a theory that it's a reference to the 1998 amalgamation of Toronto, which incorporated six boroughs into a "megacity." Still, the true origin of the term remains unclear. Only the Six God knows.

H is for "Hold On, We're Going Home": A Michael Jackson mash-note that the Weeknd must envy, and still Drake's best song. If Aubrey had come up a few decades earlier during a more genre-regimented time, he probably would have been forced to choose between being either a conscious rapper or a Jodeci-style R&B singer. Thankfully in these more enlightened times, he can make songs like this as well as "HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right) style bangers and the world is a better place for both.

I is for Ice Age 4: Yes, Drake voiced a woolly mammoth named Ethan in the fourth movie in the Ice Age franchise (subtitled Continental Drift, because it's apparently an action movie from the '80s). More importantly, he performed on the film's soundtrack, exemplified by the above clip of the entire cast singing the unbelievably corny and bloodless (even for Drake!) theme song for the movie. It is beautiful.

drakegiphy.gifJ is for Jimmy: Drake's initial star turn was on Degrassi: The Next Generation as the adorable Jimmy Brooks, a basketball star who becomes confined to a wheelchair after he's shot by a foe and left paralyzed from the waist down. (Well, not entirely from the waist down, per this iconic Jimmy-gets-a-sweatpants boner GIF from the show.) Drake has never shied away from his days as a child star, mentioning the Canadian teen soap in several of his lyrics and telling PAPERin 2010, "Degrassi was some wild times." Indeed, Drake, indeed.

Drake-laughing.pngK is for Kanye West: The other biggest rap star in the world is a bit less keen on dominating music now (he's got other fish to fry), but that doesn't mean he isn't one of Drake's biggest and most important influence. There's a very good case to be made that Drake's career just wouldn't be possible in its current form without the existence of 808s and Heartbreak (and it's probably right, if we're keeping it 10 squared).

L is for Lint Rollers: What's swaggier than a #NoLint Bounce lint roller emblazoned with the OVO logo? After all, the Toronto Raptors had to capitalize on their patron saint's shippage in some sort of cross-brand marketing way -- and in the process making Drake the man who single-handedly brought back no cat hair chic.   

M is for "Marvin's Room": One of Drake's first breakout hits, "Marvin's Room" also helped establish his dominant confessional mode, and provided one of the most emotional moments for a star known for his willingness to wear his heart on his sleeve.

N is for No New Friends: In both "Started From The Bottom" and the DJ Khaled/Rick Ross collaboration "No New Friends," Drake made it clear that he was not in the market for fake friends, and would rather just hang out with the dudes he knew before he became famous. On the same song, Rick Ross announced his intention to spend every night in the strip club with his friends, which sounds expensive and unsanitary. For more on the various times Drake had to deny himself new friends (with the exceptions of Future, Serena Williams, Fetty Wap, iLoveMakonnen, and maybe D.R.A.M.), see Matthew Perpetua's crucial fan fiction.

7 - xtEtgcc_nwhx2f.gif
O is for OVO (and Owls): Fuck off, Harry Potter. Drake's probably got the owl (and the month of October for that matter) trademarked at this point. 

P is for Ping-Pong: Drake loves ping-pong and takes it very seriously, which is good because he needs to at least feign some capability in racket sports as part of his current maybe-relationship with Serena Williams.

quentin-miller-ghostwriter.pngQ is for Quentin Miller: The ostensible ghostwriter named by Meek Mill during their beef, it's rather astonishing that reference tracks by Miller seem to evidently exist (without much in the way of direct rebuttal by Drake) in a way that has barely hurt his career, if at all. There might be bigger ripples down the road, but for now the non-impact of the revelation seems to suggest he's successfully bridged the gap between the highly lyrical demands of rap stardom and the songwriting focus of pop. Congrats, fam.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.31.52 PM.pngR is for Rihanna: Rihanna and Drake's on-again-off-again relationship has been more off than on in recent years, but the two remain friends. They are the Sam and Diane of pop music and we'll never be mad at that.

drake-making-fun-of-himself-6-1412605906-view-0.pngS is for Scorpio: For some reason, the fact that Drake, the quintessential emotive male of our era, is a Scorpio isn't more widely philosophized upon. Like claim him as yours, Scorpios of Tumblr, because this man is the sexy-sad epitome of everything your archetype stands for. 

T is for Toronto (or, as Drake has re-christened it, "The Six." See our entry for "G."): Where it all began. The rapper's passion for his city is, by now, pretty legendary, with him going so far as to say he only wants to settle down with a Toronto girl (WHAT ABOUT SERENA?!). He even got unsolicited back-up during his beef with Meek Mill from one of the city councilors, Norm Kelly, who tweeted insults at Meek in-between pictures of a dead raccoon memorial. Ahh, Toronto...

U is for UConn v. Kentucky: Drake is reportedly a long-time fan of Kentucky's basketball program (the coach, John Calipari, reportedly attended his high school graduation), but that sports fandom (which has manifested itself in relation to the Toronto Raptors, though also the Miami Heat, Manchester United, and Johnny Manziel) is often turned to bandwagonning ends, So when the University of Connecticut defeated Kentucky in the NCAA, the above photo of Drake (taken before the game) stirred up controversy, because lol, sports.

V is for Voice Mails: The primary form of the "Drake airing his feelings and problems with past flames" meme, this takes the form of actual voice mails slotted in to musical releases, which if you think about it, is either great art or some cold, cold shit.

W is for WATTBA: Or, What A Time to Be Alive, Drake's collaborative mixtape with Future (the other artist having the Best Year in Hip-Hop in 2015). Jumpman 4 lyfe.

X is for XXL: Many moons ago, Drake turned down the opportunity to be on the cover of XXL's Freshman Issue -- partly because he felt he had been a "freshman" when he wasn't put on the cover. It's a representative moment of Drake's often-contentious relationship with the traditional rap mainstream, such as there is one.

youngmoneycrew.jpgY is for Young Money: The record label that Lil Wayne founded back in the period when Wayne could do no wrong and the record industry would bend over backwards to satisfy his every whim, and Drake's original home. Though the history of rap music is filled with tax write-off vanity imprints (it's technically part of Cash Money Records and is distributed by Republic Records), Young Money has proved itself to be a quite profitable undertaking, having released world conquering albums from Drake and Nicki Minaj. (It also gave the world a Chris Brown and Tyga album with a song called "Bitches N Marijuana," though, so Wayne has a quite a lot to answer for.) The future of the label has been in doubt owing to Lil Wayne's fallout with his mentor and "father" Bryan "Birdman" Williams, and Drake's last full-length If You're Reading This It's Too Late has been widely rumored to his last for the label, though only fools attempt to predict the whims of rap labels.

Z is for Z: 

The Vanishing: Manfred Kirchheimer On The Rerelease Of His Graffiti Documentary Stations of the Elevated


In 1981, German-born filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer released the first film to document the graffiti explosion that engulfed virtually every train car in New York City. Shot in 1977 and painstakingly edited over three years, Stations of the Elevated provided a crucial snapshot of an art form born to die, with the music of Charles Mingus providing the only real audio commentary. "I saw these trains at like five o'clock in the morning, in the summer, crossing the Bronx Expressway. And they were ribbons of color, and I was very taken by that," Kirchheimer explains of his first encounter with graffiti writing. 


Newly restored and primed for rerelease this fall (it will be released digitally by Oscilloscope Laboratories on October 20th and as a two-disc, limited edition on November 17th.) Stations doubles as a commentary on what Kirchheimer describes as the "deplorable" nature of advertising and commercial art. Images of trains gloriously spray paint-bombed by voiceless, destitute teenagers snake through and around a city plastered with towering billboards meant to only to suppress its citizenry further, pimping everything from fast food to liquor in startlingly crass manners. Though New York City graffiti's initial forms and purposes have long since faded, the vitality of this most temporary of expressions is no longer lost thanks to Stations' haunted frames.

What was your greatest challenge in making the film?
Well, you've seen the film, right? And you know that it's an all-image film. And because of that, I had terrible difficulty with finding a structure for it. And, of course, a structure does not only mean a chronology or what follows what, but also built into it has to be the enticement to keep going. So for example, boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl, right? Which is a famous Hollywood structure. So here I am with all of these images, I don't quite know how to get from the beginning to the end and keep it going. It took me three weeks to shoot this film and three years to edit it, believe it or not [laughs]. Because I took a lot of false roads at the beginning.

Do you think there are any valuable contemporary temporary art forms like graffiti writing that exist today?
Well you know, I'm a filmmaker, and I'm not really up on all that stuff. I saw these trains -- I was in a food co-op -- and I saw these trains at like five o'clock in the morning, in the summer, crossing the Bronx Expressway. And they were ribbons of color, and I was very taken by that. Although my interest deepened as I shot it and I began to read the messages, which I didn't catch at first. So I took it as a filmmaker. When you ask a question like that, you're really asking someone who knows more than I do about the current scene, and I think it would be pretentious of me to answer that.

You thank the likes of well-known graffiti artists like Zephyr in the credits. Did you get to spend any one-on-one time with some of the more notable graffiti artists?

Not at all. I did later when I made Spraymasters (2008). At that time, I was a complete innocent, and I was outside the loop, and I hadn't met a single one. And as you can see from the film, I didn't really need to know anybody. It's a purely visual film based on what I shot and found out-- all the locations I found out-- and so on. Then what happened, since I shot the MOS-- do you know film terminology?

A little bit.

So you know what I'm talking about when I say MOS?


MOS means "mit out sound." And we old-timers, before the digital age, and before the time when so-called cinéma vérité came in, we worked with silent film that we put sound onto afterwards. Which is the way this film was made. This film was shot completely silent. And then all the sound you hear -- everything, without exception -- was put in later, so after two years of editing the film, I know had to start working on the sound portion of it. And there was the sequence of the boys up on the station commenting on the trains that went by.

Their reviews of the graffiti.

Right. So I needed some sound for that. My son, who was -- let me see, this is 1980 -- so my son was like 18 or 19, he knew a couple of graffiti writers, including Zephyr, whom I became friends with much, much later. First I met him... again because I teach at the School of Visual Arts and he went to the School of Visual Arts after being a writer. But that was not the reason I thanked him [in the credits]. My son rounded up these five guys or so on the 125th Street platform, and as the trains went by I recorded their comments. Zephyr helped me get those guys -- even though I didn't know Zephyr, Zephyr was a friend of my son's -- helped me get those guys onto the platform, so I thanked him.

You've made two films about the subject. Do you think the commercialization of graffiti writing has taken some of its soul? Or has the art form changed in ways that are irrevocable?
Yes, I do. I deplore -- as you can see from the movie -- I deplore advertising. People sell themselves out without even knowing it, I think. I mean for example, the guy in Stations who does the billboard -- Charlie Martinez was his name -- he probably went to art school, learned how to hone his craft, be skillful. And he got a job -- the outdoor job was perfect because he loved to play softball. But rarely do people look into the content of what they're doing. And of course what he was doing was selling cigarettes, and what cigarettes were doing was causing cancer. So after a while -- and this is talked about in Spraymasters -- graffiti, you know the guys on Madison Avenue said, "Hey, let's use some graffiti in our ads. Let's use graffiti backgrounds in our car ads. Let's get the kids to paint them and have them on sneakers and stuff like that." Well, yes I do deplore that. I think it takes the soul out of stuff. And one of the things I'm most pleased with is that I was able to show the original form when it was screening around New York and advertising the kids themselves, and their aspirations.

Do you see any value or beauty in the commercial art you juxtapose the graffiti with after almost 35 years have passed?
No, I don't. It's recently, in the past year and a half, that Stations has been out there on tour, and I've had the opportunity to do many Q&As. And unfortunately I find out that the people really like the billboards [laughs]. There's a romance, particularly to the hand-painted ones, because so few of them are hand-painted today. But my opinion of them has not changed. To me, it's the content, not the form of a billboard, that counts. And the content in my film, back then anyway, sells liquor, the content sells cigarettes, the content sells...

Whatever it's selling, it's selling in a meretricious way. Through sex, you know... regardless of the product. And no, I don't like our natural world polluted in this way. Not then, and not now. The 35 years hasn't changed anything, but I think it's changed a lot for the people who are seeing it. I think there's more of a romance about it now than there was back then. I never got the kind of responses in 1980, or '85 or whatever that I'm getting now about the billboards, which are kind of likened to the graffiti in a very benign way. My feeling is it's just the opposite. The kids are expressing themselves. The people putting up billboards are following the orders of some mogul who's making millions of dollars by creating cancer.

How much do you think that the city's cleaning of the trains was about vandalism, and how much was it about classism and racism?
I think it was definitely mostly about vandalism. First of all, there were some white kids who did the graffiti on the trains. It was not all blacks and Latinos. But also, everybody hated the graffiti. I'm talking about the strap-hangers, I'm talking about the stations, where they're trying to find a seat and this stuff is right in their face. And they go both inside and out, full of these unclean things happening. And I think that needed to be cleaned up because the elections... (the city) would not elect a mayor who would allow that to happen. And black people who went to work and Latino people who went to work, I think they hated it as much as the white people did. So I don't think it was a racist thing; I think they just couldn't stand the look of it and needed to get rid of it so they could have cleanliness again.

Well white, black or Latino, it was still a lot of low-income kids who were getting into this art form and giving themselves a voice. Maybe the city didn't want poor kids to have a voice. 

Sure, sure, but look, consider yourself a 40-year-old going to a job you don't want to go to at eight in the morning on the subway station. And you're asked to go into this really crappy subway. And by the way, the trains look so much better outdoors than they do underground. The way I photographed them in the sun, they look mostly pretty. Some of them are better made than others, and I don't know whether you've experienced this, but the inside of these trains were full of squiggles, people's tags. All over the windows, all over everything. I mean, the place just looked like shit. Today you go into a subway, it's got a lot of problems, but you know, it's stainless steel, it's clean, it's sanitary, you would say. So I really think they just had to clean it up. I think the racism -- if there was any -- was a side issue. I don't think they were so interested in whether these people were giving themselves voices as they were in making the subways clean again. It felt to people like a plague.

Why use the music of Charles Mingus?
I knew it needed a jazz score. I'm fairly familiar with jazz, but I was less familiar with Mingus. And jazz, by and large, the songs have a theme, a standard piece, and they start with the theme and then it goes around to all the musicians, and they each do their own improv on the theme. Well, that didn't work in a film like this. It needed a raucous, maybe-a-little-angry jazz that was a whole piece, rather than improvs around a central theme. And so I discovered Mingus, and Mingus was very, very serious about his music. But there was also an edge, a real angry edge to it, which seemed to match the feelings in the graffiti. So we tried out some pieces and it worked, I thought. And the rest is history.

Obviously graffiti is an integral part of hip-hop, but in 1981, the music aspect of the culture was still very much underground and in its infancy. Looking back, would you have wanted to incorporate hip-hop into the film, had you been more aware of it?
You know, I have looked back on that, and I'll tell you that I started the film in 1977 and it was finished in 1980, and very, very soon there were already people asking why I didn't use hip-hop and rap in the early '80s. And my reason back then was a very innocent one, which was that in 1980, I was over 50 years old and was not up on it. I was not familiar with the form. I just don't know everything, and I didn't know that. I got to know it later, but it wasn't part of my equipment at the time. Then, recently -- because I've had to deal with the film at a lot of screenings and Q&As -- I have looked at the question, and knowing now what I know about it, it wouldn't have worked, Zach. It wouldn't have worked and I'll tell you why. Because, as you know, hip-hop -- the greatest variation in hip-hop are the words. The beat is often very similar, the melody is often hardly existent. It's the words, really. What's being said. Well, this is a film in which I was eager for people to read the words on the trains. As I said to myself at the beginning, I said "I'm going to make a movie in which people are going to be reading." People usually don't read in a movie, but here you have every train that's going by saying "Slave,""Shadow,""For the People of the City,""Heaven Is Life,""Earth Is Hell." You gotta read this movie. You're reading. So if you're going to pay attention and read what comes on the screen, then you're going to have a contradiction because you're going to hear other words that are going to act like a voiceover. Anytime you use hip-hop, you're really dealing with voiceover in a movie. Because you have to pay attention to those words, otherwise the song fails. You can just "bop" and not pay attention to what's being said. There's substance there.

That's an interesting consideration.

I think it would've clashed with the film.

Speaking of clashes, did you encounter any problems, either technical or personal, while filming in some of the more rundown neighborhoods or in downtown Manhattan?
Well actually only once -- do you remember the prison in the film? We went out of town in order to shoot some billboards, that big car on a pedestal, that big man behind the wires -- when we went out of town for stuff like that. I scouted locations. But while we're out of town, suddenly we discover this prison outside of Ellenville, New York. And I said, "Oh my god, this is perfect." And there's a hill on each side, and I'm on top of the car, and I'm thinking this is gonna be great to shoot because I can see the turrets, I can see the top of the prison building.

And even into the yard, where you can see actual people.
And even into the yard a little bit. And especially because I'm on top of the car so I've got an extra four, five feet there. So of course we get arrested [laughs]. And they open up the camera, they confiscate the film and tell me I can't do this. You can't just go shooting the prison, you know. So I said, "Well look, we're not doing anything wrong. We're not casing the joint. We didn't mean to upset you. So how do we get permission to shoot from that hill?" And they told us, "Well, you gotta write Albany," and they gave me the address, and I did that, and they gave me permission. So I went back and I shot it again. But that was about the only difficulty. You have to try not to work in traffic. But no, it was a piece of cake. Oh no, that's not entirely true. We always snuck into the [train] yards. The yards were off-limits. And I had an initial meeting with the MTA -- I'm not sure you should write about this -- saying that I want a pass so I can shoot on platforms. And they gave that to me with the admonition that I not shoot any trains that had graffiti on them. Now of course that's an impossibility, because at that time, there were no trains without graffiti. They offered me a train or a car in Brooklyn, I'm trying to remember the station... where they allow shooting under supervision. Where you have a film like, what is it, One Two Three? 

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three?

That's right! That was shot there. So they're offering me this, but they're also giving me a pass for the platforms. So we of course snuck into yards until we were thrown out and our pass was taken away. But I can't really call that trouble because we created that trouble by doing something illegal.

So just to be clear, you want that off the record?
No, I didn't say anything bad, did I?

I don't think so. I think there's probably a statute of limitations on --
[Laughs] Right!

You made a follow-up to Stations of the Elevated in 2008 called Spraymasters where you documented former graffiti writers tagging trains. Do you think there's any room for graffiti art in the 21st century?

Well, once again, you're talking to a filmmaker, not an anthropologist. So I don't really know the answer. This particular kind of graffiti goes all the way back to the Roman times, or before that. But in America, it was in bathrooms. Guys were soliciting pussy and drawing penises with balls and all sorts of obscene things. And leaving their phone numbers and so on in public bathrooms. So that was a graffiti that everyone who was human deplored, and it was kind of disgusting. And suddenly these rich-hued, beautiful ribbons of color -- when you see them outside from a distance, not on the platform -- start coming by. And if you pay attention, you can see that there's not a single obscenity there. It's all about names, and then it begins to become about messages, like "Stop the Bomb." You know, important things they started to write about. And that started very small, in 1971 or something, with [famous graffiti writer] TAKI [183]. It started very, very small and built up so by the time when I was shooting -- '77 -- it was very rich and had been going on for five years and was very, very colorful. Now I'm not promoting it as art or anything. I just felt it was a phenomenon to be documented. And then it went on and, in Spraymasters, I think Zephyr says it was gone after 1989. So it had a life. It had a life and it was pushed out by the fact that now these trains were stainless, so they could easily be washed. Whereas during my time of shooting, they had to be painted trains upon which they did this. It wasn't a stainless train. They never got a formula that really solved this problem. But then they did by making stainless-steel trains where the graffiti could easily be washed off. And furthermore, I think the kids may have gotten a little tired. The phenomenon had gone on for 15 years, from '74-'89, something like that. And I think in this century, there's room for a lot of protest, there's room for a lot of self-expression, but I don't think it will come back in the same form. I think that form had its day. And if something does crop up, it will come up in some other imaginative form, and we don't know yet what it is. Is there room for it? I think throughout the world, throughout history, there'll always be room for self-expression.

!!!'s Nic Offer On Their New Album, "Dipshit EDM" and George Michael

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[Photo via]

"I was recently at a restaurant with [!!! guitarist and vocalist] Rafael [Cohen], and it was really funny because something came on and we were like, 'Wait, what is this?'" Nic Offer tells me late in the afternoon last Friday, the same day the frontman of the long-running dance-punk collective !!! is seeing the release of their sixth album, As If. "And we were like, 'Oh shit, this is "Pardon My Freedom."' As we realized that, the waitress walked by and I was like, 'Check, please!'" That track is a single from the band's 2004 breakthrough Louden Up Now, which helped !!! stand out as one of the weirder, more fearlessly funky acts in an increasingly crowded scene. But when the bubble eventually burst and the blog-housers and nu-ravers and dance-rock revivalists were forced to either "mature" or scatter like roaches, !!! defiantly stayed the course, releasing a string of varied studio releases and becoming a festival fixture. "We've been able to take a lickin' and keep on tickin,'" Offer says, considering the band's unlikely longevity and influence. "That's if I'm trying to look at it so basically and honestly, but I mean, you know, it was a group formed by friends to have fun, and it's remained like that the whole time." Now in his forties, Offer is releasing one of the danciest records of his career and explaining how loss, integrity and George Michael helped him get here over the course of almost two decades.

As If is now your sixth !!! studio album, and you're almost 20 years into it as a band. How's that feeling?

It's a trip, I never would've guessed it. I don't know, it's weird. The weirdest part about it is having to explain yourself all the time. Everyone's like, "Why are you still here?" And I'm like, "I have no fucking clue, it just never stops being fun" [laughs]. That seems as good as any a reason to do it, right? If we found something funner to do, we would it. But I haven't come across it, so I'm still doing this, because it's fun.

Especially in light of 2012's more straightforward, studio-focused Thr!!!er, this new one sounds like a throwback to some of your '00s releases. Was that deliberate, or did things kind of just shake out that way? Or am I way off base?

You're totally fuckin' off base here. No [laughs], uh it's both really, because it's really important to us that we move forward, and I think that's why we made albums before that some people thought were too produced, or something. That side of [making] records fascinates us, and that's what you have to do, make records around the things that fascinate you. But I definitely think there was an idea of -- if anything, it seemed to be that people wanted a rawer record from us. So it seemed like we found a way to kind of balance that. There's a lot of stuff that's straight off the demo, straight out of the first take the first time we played it in the room where we were writing it. The band was just live as live as live could be, the livest thing we've ever done. But also at the same time it's also the most computer-y thing we've ever done.

This is a noticeably more dancefloor-friendly album. Does that feel at all strange to make such an unabashed club record now that you're getting older as a band?

Uh, I guess so, but I also think not because... I guess I used to go to clubs more when I was younger, but I was probably too wasted to know what was coming out of the speakers. I still go to clubs, but now maybe I'm at home listening to club music on some good speakers and trying to understand it more. More than trying to understand it through talking over it and the drugs of our early twenties.

Is there any part of you that is trying to reach through all the fucked-uppedness to get to some 20-year-old kid -- in other words, are you trying to cut through the party and actually reach somebody?

Yes and no. Really, at the end of the day, we're just trying to make the records that excite us. This is just what we're excited by. It's kind of one of the things where it's like you're trying to stay connected to that instinctual response that you have to music, and this is where we've been instinctually hit. To do another form of music would be disingenuous. 

What do you make of people thinking that dance music is disposable -- or functional music, along the same lines of how you described going out in your twenties and being too fucked up to pay attention to the music?

That's always the rap on dance music, that it's disposable. And in many ways it is, because it is meant for the moment, and it does go in one ear and out the other. But I think people are on the dancefloor to have revelatory moments, and you do have those. I've had profound moments on the dancefloor. I've shed tears on the dancefloor, I want you to know! Those old disco songs are heartbreaking, you know? And certainly we want to create those moments for people with our songs. It's important to us that the songs are about something. But I don't think that every song in the world needs to be about a dead father or something, you know? Songs can be about everything, and I don't think a song is not as relevant as another song because it's just telling you to dance. I think that dancing is an important thing and it's important to have those songs that tell you to do that.

Why do you think you guys have lasted this long, as opposed to some of your peers who have faded away or given it up?

Maybe just because we were a big band to start with. We've lost half our members, so maybe there was just more of us to lose. The other bands, they were built around three or four people, and once one guy leaves, they're done. We've been able to take a lickin' and keep on tickin'. That's if I'm trying to look at it so basically and honestly, but I mean, you know, it was a group formed by friends to have fun, and it's remained like that the whole time. There's been some tough times. People left the band, and we got new people and they became part of the family. It stayed fun, we've stayed friends and we're still like a family. There's no one I'd rather hang out with than the band to this day. That's really lucky. But I think we've also deliberately pushed ourselves to be in new territory. We're always attempting something different. With this record, I think yeah, it's us, but we've achieved a lot of things we couldn't have achieved on other records, and that's exciting to us.

I feel like your band has always been more conscious of its outsider status, in that I never got the sense that you really wanted to play the main stage. Did you? Or do you?

I think anybody wants to play to as many people that will appreciate them, but I think that we were just always conscious that that's not where we belonged or... it's funny, honestly we could rock a main stage better than anyone. We're really good at rocking a big festival stage; we've done it in many countries. So we always want to do that. I think we never had that idea that we needed to change who we were in order to be on that stage. The thing that comes first is being a good band. And as far as that will take us, let's go there. That's the most important thing to us. We've never wanted to gloss it up or slick it up or whatever -- make a song for McDonalds or something. That's never really been in the cards. Anything we've done that's been like kinda commercial has been because it's what we wanted to do. Everything we've done, we've wanted to do. Maybe there were a couple t-shirt designs we didn't get to approve, but generally everything we've done, we've wanted to do.

Obviously dance music has evolved a great deal since you started releasing records. What do you feel about the current state of dance music, either on a micro or a macro scale?

Certainly on a micro scale, I love it. What I DJ is mostly contemporary stuff. I think there's a ton of exciting records made all the time and yeah, it takes some digging through Beatport or whatever, but there's fucking incredible records released every single day. And I feel lucky to have attached myself to dance music, because I consistently need something new, and dance music has become the style of music that needs to be constantly new. It sounds dated two years after it's out, so it's attached itself to futurism and pushing forward and electronics. So it has to be continually new, and I love that part of it -- to me that's really exciting.

I think when people ask me about this, they want me to sort of kick EDM's teeth in or something like that, and that's not necessarily -- now going to the macro level -- I'm not mad at EDM. We've always thought that rock music was boring. We've always been kind of like anti-rock music. And I think there's a reason that kids today want to go to big EDM shows rather than the Black Keys, or whatever is passing for rock music these days. I'd rather listen to any dipshit EDM guy than the fucking Black Keys. At least it's a new thing, at least it's in a new territory. It's fresh. And I don't think I understand all that EDM because it's more based around adrenaline and sugar and drugs and things that aren't supposed to appeal to who I am at this point. But I certainly understand why fucking kids like it. It's fucking exciting, and it's something that's their own, it's not their dad's music. Their dad's gonna like the Black Keys, you know?

I think people associate your band with joy, but you've lost people in this band over the years, including Jerry Fuchs and Mikel Gius. How did their deaths influence and change the band?

It's just such a part of life. Any group of friends that is a group of friends for a while will go through these things. Both of those guys liked to fuckin' party, and I'm sure they would've wanted the party to continue.  I feel like the lyrics from the last song on Thr!!!er ["Situation (Meet Me at The)"], "you get what you get," were basically about that. I haven't fucking learned anything from death. It fucking sucks. I've learned nothing, you know? Literally nothing. I can't tell you anything about death. It fucking sucks and I miss those guys and that's all I know about it.

There's a lot of variation on As If, which is nothing new for you guys, but it's the big dance tracks that really stand out here. "Freedom '15" is a highlight -- were you trying plant a certain kind of flag with that George Michael nod in the title?

[Laughs] Certainly! We love George, we're all like giant George fans, except [drummer] Paul [Quattrone], but he doesn't know anything. We just think he's unfairly been maligned, but really it was just one of those things where you know, the hook went "freedom" so it was obviously going to be called "Freedom," so obviously we had to nod to George because it's one of our favorite George songs.

He has been unfairly ignored.

He certainly wasn't as prolific, but I think he comes in a fairly distant third to Prince and Michael [Jackson]. As far as like a soul guy from the '80s, like a visionary soul songwriter, I think he's fucking fantastic. I love him. He fascinates me too because he had such a struggle, you know. He spent the majority of his career in the closet... he's the one I'm still waiting on his memoirs. He wrote one in like '90, but he was still in the closet at that point. I think the book's called Nude or something like that [Ed. note: The title of George Michael's 1991 memoirs is Bare]. It's like he hasn't revealed his true self to the world and I feel bad for him because every time you read about him now he's still fucked up on drugs or something and you feel like there's a bit of him that hasn't really -- he strikes me as one of the great tragic figures in rock. I don't feel like he's truly happy still, you know? And I want George to be happy, because he seems like a good guy to me.

His career kind of mirrored Boy George's in a weird way, but Boy George has been able to come out on the other side with some sort of sense of sanity --

I think they would both be pissed to hear you say that [laughs], but there are of course very obvious parallels between the two. But I actually read George's book [the 1995 autobiography] Take It Like a Man. George is fucking great -- Boy George. He's totally got it together, he's very self-aware. He comes through the other side of getting straight, and in his book he's totally -- he knows he fucked up. And he's very clear about it. And he has a real sense of humor about himself. He's like someone I always really like in interviews and stuff. Boy George is cool.

My favorite thing on the new album is probably "Funk (I Got This)," mostly because you looped a dialogue clip of Mister Cee during his big Hot 97 interview about his sexuality. What inspired you to use that moment?

I'll tell you exactly what inspired me to use that moment. It's the fuckin' stupid ass commenters on the New York Times [website]. I had listened to the interview, and then I read the article about it, and it's like any time there's a hip-hop article in the New York Times, all these fuckin' people comment like, "Why are you writing about this blah blah blah!" They're like incensed that it's considered an art. And it's like, "It's twenty-fucking-fifteen, man!" So I put the interview on again and I was listening to it, and it was just like such an incredible interview because to come out on hip-hop radio -- and he doesn't even really fully come out, he admits he can't come out. It was one of the most incredible and moving things I'd ever listened to. It's definitely the greatest radio I'd ever listened to, because they come on the air and it's awkward at first, there's these weird silences and he's having to squeeze it out and say, y'know, to have to say on hip-hop radio, "Yeah, I've been filmed with transgender prostitutes." I will never have to say anything that brave. I will never have to make that step. So to listen to it was just incredible, and it was kind of one of those things that was really simple, because it was an incredible moment between friends. Magic things were happening. The way they we're standing up for him and encouraging him to be himself was just so beautiful, to have his friends stand up for him like that.

When I'm cutting up a jam session, ultimately what I'm doing is honing in on the magic, and there are incredible moments happening. It's like I'm capturing that magic and looping it. And to listen to this interview, it's like they were discovering things. They were pushing out into things and discovering and it was an incredible moment. So I just cut it up.

Looking back, is there any advice you'd want to give to yourself when you started this band? Is there anything you would've wanted to do differently if you could?

I just would've worked harder younger. It's been kind of exciting because we've kind of opened up this other aspect to the band in the last five, six years or something where I feel we got better than we ever had been. And I certainly understand why bands are usually better younger, and what is there in that kind of energy. So I feel like if we had worked this hard at that age, I mean we could have done incredible things. Our big moment in the sun was [2004's] Louden Up Now, my least favorite [!!!] record. When I listen to that record --

Is it really?

-- I know it could have been better. Yeah, by far. That or maybe [Strange Weather, Isn't It?]. But those are definitely my least two favorite. And Louden Up is the one that most people know. And I just know that... I'm just sure if we had dropped [As If] at that time, it would have been fucking huge. [Louden Up Now] gets by on the fact that its sound was new. We were The Hot Sound of the Day. Now we're lucky to be around. Our sound is dated, but we're lucky to be here and be able to make it sound fresh.

As If is out now. You can buy a copy HERE.

The Best, Worst, and Weirdest of the Week


Best NSFW Depiction of Justin Bieber Jacking off on an IO Hawk: The man behind the pornographic Zayn Malik fan-zine SOLO is back again with BOYFRIEND. The Justin Bieber zine features the "What Do You Mean?" singer posing with his car collection, in a shower, and, of course, wanking it on an IO Hawk. (Click through for, uh, pics.) -- MM
Best Former Child Star Cosplay: Cole Sprouse of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody fame has posted his finished Halloween costume on Twitter. Going as Milo Thatch from the 2001 Disney film Atlantis, Sprouse put together a chic costume while still managing to capture the lovable awkwardness of the intrepid explorer. (Cole also felt it necessary to point out he owns a framed picture of Teddy Roosevelt...) -- Matthew Moen

_86115744_86115741.jpgWorst Return Investment on a Adult-Sized Toddler Vehicle: After making a working life-sized version of a Little Tikes toy car that you can actually drive on a highway, the man who made the monstrosity somehow failed to sell it on eBay. Weird, who would've thought that no one was willing to drop £21,500 on a big version of a toddler toy? -- MM

Best New Emoji, Non-Taco Edition: The unicorn emoji. It's majestic! -- MM

Worst Statement by Sam Smith: Self-explanatory, from this interview with NME. There's *some* mitigating context (it's about the broader role Smith would like to assume in pop culture over time), but it really doesn't help all that much. Don't claim you speak for a group that includes millions of people, 'kay? Thanks! -- Eric Thurm

Ask a Grown Man: Terry Crews from Rookie on Vimeo.

Sweetest, Scariest Man: Terry Crews, one of the stars of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (and one of the funniest people in the cast) did Rookie's "Ask a Grown Man" series and, like all the other installments, it is delightful. -- ET


Posted by Laszlo Toth on Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Best "Hotline Bling" Meme, Non-Drake Edition: This video mashup with Twin Peaks is pretty stellar, and manages to avoid "dancing Drake" fatigue while capturing the absurd character of the video (as well as the song). -- ET

Best "Hotline Bling" Meme, Drake Edition: Werewolf Bar Mitzvah! Spooky, scary! Boys becoming men, men becoming wolves! -- ET

Weirdest Wedding News: It seems like the 1800s made a comeback this week when newly wed bride Brelyn Freeman produced a "Certificate of Purity" to her father on her wedding day. She wanted to make sure everyone knew no horseback or bike ride had compromised the integrity of her hymen, because apparently this is the Middle Ages. -- Morgan Grain

Most Superhuman Feat: Is this a real story? Can you really survive off of only pizza for 7 days and then lose 5 pounds? I want to have a talk with Cosmo's fact-checker. -- Sandra Song

Best New Twitter Account:
@CoolJeopardyStories, dedicated to "simplistically yet accurately summarizing the insipid contestant interview part of Jeopardy!" So many cats with fun names. --Elizabeth Thompson

_NCB0734-2.jpgBest Business Name: R.I.P. Fuckoffee the London coffee shop. -- SS

Most Unappetizing Pastry: Sanrio, better known as the team behind Hello Kitty, just opened up a pop-up cafe in Hong Kong focused around a lazy egg character called Gudetama. And to market it, they have pastries of this cute little fellow that, um, ooze poop-esque chocolate from its butt area when squeezed. Yum. -- SS

Best Celebrity Conspiracy Theory: So the Internet apparently invented Demi Lovato an imaginary twin sister this week named Poot Lovato. Move over, Avril. -- SS

Katy Perry Is STILL Trying To Kick Those Nuns Out Of Their Convent


katy-perry-80.jpgPeople's Choice Award-winning recording artist, Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson (Katy Perry), is still locked in a bidding war with five elderly nuns of Los Angeles convent Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in the Los Feliz neighborhood.

Since July, Perry has been attempting to buy out the 8-acred, stucco-roofed building, with its hilltop perch, stately rooms, gorgeous views of the city, but also because it's so painfully obvious that Katy Perry would live in an old convent.

katy-perry-Sisters-of-the-Immaculate-Heart-of-Mary-convent-in-Los-Feliz-billboard-510.jpgThe sisters have not budged an inch in almost 4 months.

86-year-old nun Catherine Rose Holzman met with Billboard to discuss her convent's feud, stating that Archbishop Jose H. Gomez wants to sell it to Perry, while the nuns are favoring LA-based restaurateur Danna Hollisteer.

katy-perry-nuns-2015-billboard-510.jpgSister Rose, Sister Rita

Sister Rose also claims that Perry landed a deal with the archdiocese to pay $14.5 million, with 10 million paid IN CASH if the nuns aren't involved.

Katy fucking hates these nuns!

Rose worries that none of the money the pop singer shelves over will go to their convent, while Hollister has offered $ 15.5 million, with $100,000 going straight to the nuns.

The fact that people have this sort of money in 2015 is criminal.

There's more going into this stalemate than just $$$, though.

Holzman told Billboard that "Katy Perry represents everything we don't believe in; it would be a sin to sell to her."

giphy-6.gifOHHHH SHIT.

The nuns were apparently horrified when Katy had once joked that her success came from selling her soul to Satan.

Here's a video where the very obtuse male narrator calls her a "super skank from the synagogue of Satan." K.
During a meeting with Perry (who literally had to sing "Oh Happy Day" to prove her former gospel singing career), Holzman says that KT showed them a tattoo that says "JESUS" on her left wrist, and said that if she got the house, she would "sip green tea and meditate in the gardens."

Can you imagine during one of the meetings, Katy mouthing "Fuckface" to one of the quieter nuns when the rest weren't looking? I can!

I hope the sisters keep holding out until Katy and a task force team have to come in and raid the place...and even then, they stand their ground; that's the only Armageddon I'm interested in witnessing.


Absolut's Elektrik House Party Was Insane

494018014.jpgOn October 23, Absolut revealed a party pad for the future amidst the warehouses and street art of downtown Los Angeles' Arts District and it was aspirational. Drones mixed cocktails. A robot band called Compressorhead performed. Biometric bracelets kept tabs on the excitement in the crowd. The vodka company's Elektrik House Party was made as a tribute to the bashes that go down every weekend in homes across the world. Yet, it far surpassed anything that regular folks could plan. That rager you threw when your parents were in Las Vegas, the soiree in the Hollywood Hills with all the people who think they could be famous -- they all pale in comparison to Elektrik House Party.

The space itself was decorated to elicit maximum envy. Silver ottomans? Want! Mirrored DJ booth? Need! Terrarium wall? Hmmm, I might have to steal that idea for my apartment. Of course, there's a reason they stepped up the home decor game in this temporary abode. This wasn't just a party; the footage was being filmed for a future commercial. Needless to say, the crowd ready for the camera too. There were no schlubs in flip-flops here.

494017888.jpg494017936.jpg494017948.jpg494017822.jpgBy 9 p.m., the party was jumpin'. In any other house party situation, a crowd of this size would have prompted the first of several PBR-and-Doritos runs. Here, though, the booze-- served in plastic mason jars with stylish Absolut straws instead of Solo cups-- and food flowed freely throughout the night. People munched on tiny slices of sausage and fig pizza and bite-sized Portobello mushroom and Sriracha burgers. I tried two of the Absolut cocktails on the menu (for journalism!) and the citrusy, gingery Neon Nights was a winner. The espresso and lemon-flavored Coffee Tonik was tasty too and had enough of a caffeine kick to help me brave my way through a very thick crowd.

It would have been enough to dance on a light-up floor under the laser glare of a moose head and bob along to the robot band, but the party didn't stop there. By 11 p.m., the crowd had moved into the yard area of this pretend-house to catch a performance from Empire of the Sun. The Australian synthpop band played a full set with dancers who changed costumes repeatedly during the performance. Once you thought the night just couldn't get better than this, a massive Tesla coil shaped like an Absolut bottle crackled as it lit up high above the crowd.

This was the house party of dreams, the kind of event that fashionable hosts/hostesses will forever try, and fail, to mimic. At least we can take away the memories.

All of the Best Celebrity Boomerangs From Olivier Rousteing's Crazy LA Birthday Bash

Celebrity Instagram was awash with photo last night with uploads from Balmain designer Olivier Rousting's LA birthday party. Our September cover star had a celebrity-packed bash in the Hollywood Hills, with everyone from the Kardashians, Willow, Jaden and Jada Pinkett Smith to Cara Delevingne, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel in attendance, and the list goes on.

If your invite got lost in the mail, Balmain's instagram captured a bunch of fun Boomerang clips -- insta's new app that allows you to make GIF-like 1-second clips -- and we've included some highlights below.

Happy Bday @olivier_rousteing from @kendalljenner and @caradelevingne #HappybeLAted

A video posted by BALMAIN (@balmainparis) on

Cara and Kendall took the classic kiss selfie pose to new heights.

Happy Bday @olivier_rousteing from @kimkardashian #HappybeLAted

A video posted by BALMAIN (@balmainparis) on

Kim K, resplendent.

Happy Bday @olivier_rousteing from @kinggoldchains and @kyliejenner #HappybeLAted

A video posted by BALMAIN (@balmainparis) on

Kylie brought her head tilt A-game.

Happy Bday @olivier_rousteing from @luckybsmith @daisyclementine @pyperamerica #HappybeLAted

A video posted by BALMAIN (@balmainparis) on

Flaxen-haired sibling trifecta Lucky B. Smith, Pyper America Smith and Daisy Clementine Smith brought the heat with their genetically blessed smizes.

Happy Bday @olivier_rousteing from @constancejablonski and @alessandraambrosio #HappybeLAted

A video posted by BALMAIN (@balmainparis) on

Constance Jablonski and Alessandra Ambrosio win for best post of the night.

Take My Hand....and Take A Deep Dive Into Adele's "Hello" Video With Me


adele25cover.jpg.CROP.promo-xlarge2.jpgAs everyone knows by now, Adele Blue Adkins came out of seclusion yesterday morning, and released the music video for "Hello" -- the lead single off her forthcoming album, 25.

Not surprisingly, the song is a pulverizing, lovelorn ballad -- a devastating blow that hits hard and fast -- about Ms. Adewe's lament over her mistreatment of a former lover.

To her dismay, and after SEVERAL phone calls (one thousand, as she reveals), he doesn't seem to be home. Or care, for that matter.

The tune taps into that secret psycho psyche we all have sometimes, when even after we know we were a total cretin to someone we dated, and they no longer want anything to do with us (with good reason), we're still like, "Um excuse me? What. No."

The song reached #1 on iTunes in a matter of minutes, and within 12 hours, sold a staggering 350,000 singles.

It's an epic comeback, demonstrating Adele's superstar power, and unmatched talent.

The sepia-drenched video, was filmed in Montreal by wunderkind filmmaker Xavier Dolan, and was the first music video to be captured with IMAX cameras; it's amassed over 30 million views since its release.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 1.01.11 PM.png
At times, the video feels like a very longZales Jewelry commercial, which is absolutely OK.

In an interview with British DJ Zane Lowe, a characteristically humble Adele admitted she was nervous no one would like the track.


Let's take a little tour through Adele's world of blowing leaves, fur coats, and FLIP PHONES.

1. Brb, heading upstate

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.01.56 PM.png
2. Ugh, sorry. No service. Who's this?

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.04.45 PM.png3 Literally so windy here.
 Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.06.09 PM.png4. Hi Burner phone!

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.07.29 PM.png(absolutely the first time Adele has ever held a cell phone)

5. You call this a foyer?

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.09.15 PM.png6. Adele has spent 3/4 of her life dusting off window curtains (and gently parting them to peer outside)

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.11.49 PM.png(An entire movie of Adele silently doing household chores could be fun.)

7. Contouring on POINT.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.16.21 PM.png8. I've passed away.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.17.46 PM.png
9. I mean, of course, tea.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.14.13 PM.png
10. Brooding tea sips: check.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.15.20 PM.png
11. Oh...hello, there...are you responsible for said brooding tea sips?

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.19.21 PM.pngWe'll get back to you.

12. For now, we should all aspire to enter any/all rooms like this from now on.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.21.59 PM.png13. Stock in landlines just went up.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.23.57 PM.png14. FIRST CHORUS: Passed away, again.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.25.03 PM.pngDied, resurrected, and then savagely bludgeoned once more.

Also, Melanie Griffith in Working Girl vibes? Maybe!

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.33.29 PM.pngtess_ferry.jpg
15. Ah, yes, Tristan Wilde, of The Wire, and 90210 Reboot fame. Good to see you.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.26.10 PM.png
16. Please make me pasta, Tristan.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.28.32 PM.png
17. Please.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.29.07 PM.png18. Thanks.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.30.27 PM.png19. Sweeping, sweeping, sweeping aaaaaaaaand wind. Yes.
 Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.31.13 PM.png20. Take me away from here, Tristan.
 Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.35.39 PM.png
21. Calling again on a rotary phone!!!! Operator??? Operator, I'd like report a transient.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.36.50 PM.pngA description? Whaddya mean, operator?! He's a transient! No smaller than a bee, no biggah than a house!!!!!

22. Casual phone booth in the woods. Cool.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.38.54 PM.png23. Don't go in there, girl.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.39.31 PM.png24. Literally have a 100% chance of getting murdered if you touch a dangling payphone. Everyone knows that.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.40.29 PM.png25. What's wrong, boo?

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.41.59 PM.png

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.44.14 PM.png
27. Breakup in the rain. Duh.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.45.27 PM.png
28. U did this to urself, bb.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.46.48 PM.png29. Ugh, I know.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.48.07 PM.png30. Re: hand. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.49.04 PM.png31. So many god damn leaves!!!!!!!

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.50.06 PM.png
32. Yep. Definitely windy.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.50.57 PM.png
33. Still windy.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.52.20 PM.png34. Jesus Christ.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.53.16 PM.png35. FLIP PHONE NATION.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.54.19 PM.png36. Adele: forlornly peering out windows since 1988.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 12.55.12 PM.pngIf you, for some reason, haven't voluntarily reduced yourself to spiritual ash, watch the full video below.

25 is out November 20, 2015.

The Best/Worst Unofficial "Hotline Bling" Merch The Internet Has To Offer

Did you miss out on the official OVO 1-800-HotlineBling longsleeves and hats? Can't afford that Moncler puffer he wore in the video? Well thank the 6 God for the Internet, because in the age of create-your-own-tee sites like Zazzle and RedBubble, you and any other schlub with MS Paint can create and customize your very own Hotline Bling merch for a 1/600th of the price. Granted, sometimes when you DIY things can get horribly out of hand (R.I.P. every oversized shirt you've ever tried to cut), and "Hotline Bling" knock-offs aren't exempt. So in the spirit of Internet entrepreneurship, we did a deep dive to find some of the best worst wannabe OVO items and rounded 'em up for your viewing pleasure. Check out a few of our favorite flops below.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.34.54 PM.png
Meta iPhone Case
At initial glance it may just look like a phone case with the word "Bling" taped on in a font that is veering dangerously close to being Jester, but upon closer inspection you realize it's actually a self-referential masterpiece -- an iPhone phone with a "Bling" screen printed on a "Hotline Bling"-branded iPhone case. Sigh. Trust us, there are definitely better/more aesthetically-pleasing ways to reference the "you used to call me on my cellphone" line.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.20.04 PM.png
Copy/Paste Hotline Bling Poster
This poster is cool and perfect for any QT co-ed with a dorm room at Aubrey U, but it also kind of makes you want to barf? Where's the motion sickness warning label?

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.09.45 PM.png
Vector Drake Shirt
Maybe it's symbolic? Drake's eyes, aka the windows to his soul, hidden by the text of the song...because he's sad? The vector illustration is a redeeming quality though, since whoever designed this paid special attention to Papi's weird hairline part.
Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.08.38 PM.png
TextEdit Hotline Bling Sweater
This sweater, while comfy-looking, screams "I bought this off the Internet from some dude who just put a white TextEdit box on their Zazzle design." Come on. You couldn't even make the background transparent? Or just use an all-white pullover if you didn't want to spend the next year lasso tooling around the letters? Or find a sweatshirt that isn't what everyone's mom wears on her morning group walk with her gals from the neighborhood? At least hit us with a crew neck.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.31.19 PM.png
Zack Morris Hotline Bling Shirt
There is such a thing as too many simultaneous cultural references. Also poor Zack Morris has literally been put through the worst Instagram filter on Earth.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.07.04 PM.png
Awkward Hotline Bling Pocket Square Shirt
This is mostly confusing because it's cropped and positioned in such a weird place. It'd be one thing if it was printed on a breast pocket, but it's, uh, not a pocket? But then what's the point of you putting it only in one strange, little side block? Is it an artistic statement? Is it supposed to represent where your heart once was? I have so many questions.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 3.26.25 PM.png

Hotline Bling Mug
A Sharpie-adorned mug to collect all your tears in. Only $3!

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.20.01 PM.png
Hotline Bling Pillow
Cool and all, but wrong album reference.

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 12.19.42 PM.png
1-800-HARRYSTYLES Pillow
And last but not least, we have this confusing crossover fanfic waiting to happen. Remember when Harry Styles used to call? 

Grimes Teases New Dark, Industrial Dance Music


2015Grimes_Press_1_051015.jpgWhile white knuckle the wait for Claire Boucher aka Grimes' upcoming album Art Angels, the electronic producer/cyber siren threw us a bone to tide us over via Instagram.

Posted 20 hours ago, the Canadian musician teased the brooding snippet; a track with military-sounding percussion, pummeling bass, and ghostly cries.


A video posted by Grimezsz (@actuallygrimes) on

It's a glorious cross between Goblin and Nine Inch Nails,.

Art Angels is following her 2012 masterpiece Visions, which was considered one of the best of that year (and possibly the last decade), and launched her into fame.

If you remember, Grimes scrapped an entire album last year, claiming "it sucked."

In March, she released a song that would've appeared on it called "REALilTi," which was just about perfect, so we're that was just some genius OCD shit.

She was also devastated by the criticism surrounding her Blood Diamonds co-produced single "Go" (that she'd originally written for Rihanna), that it signaled a more mainstream direction in her music.

59ef246f.jpgIf this new teaser--which sounds like a warehouse rave occurring in the middle of a Satanic bacchanal--signals anything, it's that Grimes has only gone deeper into the ground in the best way possible.


Drake's "Hotline Bling: Without Music" Is Painful, Gassy, and Hilarious


here-are-memes-from-drakes-hotline-bling-video-0.jpgWhile the video for Drake's dusky "Hotline Bling" has set fire to the Internet this week, with its neon colors and adorably unsettling dancing.

In just a few days, the video has unleashed a monsoon of ridiculous memes, almost like it was *designed* for that, or something! Can you imagine?!


zJppAl8.gifWith all the tear-inducing material being spawned from this weird vid seemingly every few minutes, the folks at TheCrazyGorilla just upped the parody-game with their latest entry in the hilariously wonderful "Without Music" project...."HOTLINE BLING WITHOUT MUSIC."

Like the video wasn't awkward to begin with, now we get to hear Drake's panting and swishing around in his huge puffy jacket

He half-mutters through his lyrics -- his voice often obscured by the loud drone of the air vents and buzz of the florescent lights of the vast rooms he shuffles around.

There are some lame cut-ins of the Nicki Minaj clones "farting," which they probably could've done without, but it's mostly LOL.

The video ends with Drake cha-cha-ing to some Latino dance music, which actually matches up perfectly.

Watch the full video below.

Watch the Terrifying Trailer For "The Boy"

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 3.58.19 PM.pngThis trailer for the upcoming horror flick The Boy, has enough terror in its two-and-a-half minutes for the entire Halloween season.

The story centers around Greta (The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan) who becomes the nanny for the 8-year-old son of a wealthy, reclusive older couple in their sprawling manor in the English countryside.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 4.04.23 PM.pngThe only catch? Their son, Brahms, is a DOLL.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 3.59.29 PM.pngYes, Greta has been enlisted to care for a life-sized replica of the boy, who died 20 years earlier; his parents seemingly unable to cope with the loss.

From the trailer, the nanny goes along with the strange scenario (money is money, boo), but after straying from some of the strict rules Brahm's parents have given her to follow, she begins to see that the doll is...not so inanimate.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 4.00.47 PM.pngGreta starts uncovering some scary facts about the boy from when he was alive, and of course, horror ensues.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 4.02.18 PM.pngAnytime someone says, "We've had a number of potential nannies..." YOU RUN SCREAMING.

If you're not too keen on dolls, clowns, and the like, this trailer is probably your worst nightmare.

Screen Shot 2015-10-24 at 4.02.57 PM.pngBut watch it anyway, because it looks like it's going to be a hit.

The Boy comes out January 22, 2016.

Watch Demi Lovato Gracefully Handle Getting Upstaged By A GoGo Dancer's Huge Dick


demi-lovato-cool-for-the-summer-2015-billboard-650_0.jpgDuring a recent trip to NYC, Ms. Demetria Devonne Lovato made an appearance at The Monster, a West Village gay bar, to promote/perform her new single "Confident."

While hyping up the crowd, the singer asked "How many confident bitches are in here tonight?" to a roaring applause.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.38.51 AM.pngUnfortunately, her mostly rhetorical question endowed one particularly...endowed fellow with the confidence of a gay hydrogen bomb.

One of the bar's Go-Go dancers jumped up on stage with Demi after she requested some rhythmic assistance, and no sooner did he begin to shimmy his lower region, did we realize why he was eager.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.40.22 AM.pngI mean.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.41.18 AM.pngYeah.

While Demi showed off her amazing/non-lip-synced pipes, all eyes were transfixed on the biblical behemoth barely tucked away under this stunt queen's tighty-whities; a collapsed star, pulling everything into its void.

It didn't help that he basically plopped himself right in front of the singer while the photographers snapped away in awe.

Demi, though keeping her cool, was visibly annoyed; at one point, she glances down at the dancer's massive member and looks back up, as if thinking, "My god...", before staring off into some invisible horizon.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 10.42.57 AM.pngShe knew she could never un-see it.

None of us can un-see it.

May we one day recover...not now, probably not tomorrow...but someday.

For now, behold its supernatural splendor:

Happy Birthday, Ciara, Love, Beyoncé's White Colored Contact Lenses


Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.56.35 AM.pngHave you ever wondered what would happen if you had yourself a 30th birthday party, and since it's close to Halloween, you made it costume-themed...superhero themed, even?

And then you invited Beyoncé, who showed up wearing white-colored contact lenses?

Well, not showed up. Manifested.

Ciara doesn't have to wonder "if," because that happened to her...last night.

Indeed, Ciara celebrated 30 years on this planet last night with a superhero-themed bash.

Warner Bros. Studios even allowed the beloved chanteuse to have it on their "lot" in Hollywood.

TMZ reported that "Ciara turned 30, which explains why Warner Bros. opened its lot to her."

Naturally! Right? That explains it!

Anyway, Ciara Princess Harris arrived to the soiree as Cat Woman in all her black latex glory; her studly beau Russell Wilson--who is the quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks--dressed as the Dark Knight.

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 12.04.35 PM.png
Ciara and Russell posing here with MTV comedian, Jeff Dye

BTW...Future who?

obama_us_japan_109657859-copy.jpgBut yes, they looked great in rubber! They did.

Unfortunately, CiCi invited Beyoncé, and when you invite Beyoncé to your costume party. this is what happens...

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 11.50.16 AM.png
Jeff Dye had quite a night


Bey came as X-Men's storm, and from the moment she levitated in, we'd reached peak.

A peak of what? I'm not sure.

But it was...peak. 

"Oh, good," Ciara must've said, faintly, after hearing of Bey's arrival.


Happy birthday, Ciara, and to everyone else who celebrated their birthday on a studio lot last night.


The Sunday Funnies


The Cating. [Mlkshk]

When you finally realize a murderous cucumber has been watching you eat dinner the entire time. [TastefullyOffensive]

Drake & Order. [@heyahhjayuhh]

You used to call me on my cell phone Late night when you need PUG LOVE🎶

A video posted by Helmut Newton (@helmutthepug) on

Pugline Bling. [HelmutThePug]

This is what happens when you secretly film Taraji P. Henson on the set of "Empire" and it's the best. [911Police]

 tumblr_nwj0d9GdZ81qzag1wo1_1280.jpgFound your costume! [LaughterKey]

Meet Kim Novelle, the first person to run a marathon without telling anyone about it. A hero. [TastefullyOffensive]

tumblr_nwmve0a0fF1qe0wclo1_1280.jpg:( [FYeahDementia]

Screen Shot 2015-10-25 at 12.03.42 PM.pngWhen you're just not that into your murderer. [911Police]

Anna Kendrick and Billy Eichner play "What does Katy Perry's cat care about?" [BillyOnTheStreet]

And we still can't even get Pepsi Perfect right. [FYeahDementia]

tumblr_nn8umy9jrP1uqqr0io1_1280.pngFuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. [ThatsSoModeratelyRaven]

The past 72 hours. This is too real. [ChrisMelberger]