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Voice Male

Adam Levine has spent the better part of a decade peeling off his clothes in public. Whether the Maroon 5 frontman is rolling around in bed with a model for a music video or stripping naked for a Vogue cover -- the population at large has seen every part of Levine's tattooed physique, save for his actual manhood.

But it's only now, 10 years after crooning his way to fame on Maroon 5's wildly successful debut Songs About Jane, that the 33-year-old rock star is feeling exposed. Lately, you can't turn on your TV or open your MacBook without seeing the singer's scruffy mug. He's on primetime as one of the four judges on NBC's reality singing competition The Voice. He sang his band's ubiquitous 2011 dance-pop hit "Moves Like Jagger" on the Victoria's Secret runway last fall, and played with Foster the People and the Beach Boys at the Grammys in February. He just signed on for a guest starring role alongside Jessica Lange on Ryan Murphy's FX cult-hit American Horror Story. He's even on the Golf Channel, for heaven's sake, perfecting his swing with Tiger Woods' former coach, Hank Haney, on The Haney Project. Then there's his new music label 222 (Glee's Matthew Morrison was the first artist signed), which also happens to be the name of his fragrance coming to a department store near you in 2013.

Jacket by Schott NYC, shirt by Diesel and pants by Carhartt. Blazer by Simon Spurr.

On a sunny day at his house in Los Feliz, with the Hollywood sign in clear view, Levine is the first to admit it's a bit much. "I feel the potential of overexposure and it's a very real feeling," he says. So instead of waiting for the inevitable backlash to whip him into oblivion, he and the rest of Maroon 5 (guitarist James Valentine, keyboardist PJ Morton, bassist Mickey Madden and drummer Matt Flynn) are beating the potential haters to the punch, naming their fourth studio album out this June, Overexposed. "We've kind of succumbed to the fact that that's what's going on. It's better to know about it and make light of it because I don't think we ever want the music to be overshadowed. You can't get sick of us if we're already sick of ourselves."

As we settle into the over-sized pillows strewn on the floor of his sleek, but comfortable living room, it's easy to imagine Levine's many longtime friends -- like Jonah Hill, his roommate Gene Hong (yes, he has a roommate) and his bandmate -- hanging out here, drinking beers and enjoying the Californian breeze that wafts through the open sliding glass doors. Levine grabs a banana from the kitchen and starts to explain that the key to his success and happiness is a good-humored self-awareness. "I can be a huge pain in the ass, huge pain in the ass. That's part of who I am and there's not a person I know who doesn't think I'm a pain in the ass. But I'm also really nice and a completely affable and socially adept person. There's a difference between being an asshole and a pain in the ass..." Levine then stops and takes a bite of his banana, "It's fucking impossible to look anything less then lame when you're eating a banana."

It's this combination of SoCal skater dude and over-the-top diva that makes him so compelling on The Voice, a fresh take on the American Idol model, which attempts to focus solely on contestants' voices by starting off with "blind auditions" with Levine and his fellow judges Blake Shelton, Christina Aguilera and Cee-Lo Green. Levine balances frat-boy style remarks like, "I think Blake just bought a one-way ticket to boner town," with solid advice to the singers. The judges also serve as coaches to a team of pop star wannabes, and last season Levine led the smooth and soulful soft-rocker Javier Colon to victory. "I'm a very competitive person and I think it took a minute for everyone else to get it," says Levine with playful cockiness. "Now they're all gunning for me." But as he glances at the copy of Rolling Stone featuring the foursome on the cover that's sitting on his coffee table, he says seeing them all together "warms his heart." It's clear that the four have formed a bond. When asked about Aguilera's over-the-top, post-divorce style, he says, "You know what? She likes rhinestones. What are you gonna do?"

Blazer and shirt by Band of Outsiders.

Of course signing up for a reality show usually means one thing for a musician's career; it's over. Sorry, J.Lo, it's true. But that doesn't seem to be the case for Levine. In fact, being on the show seems to have actually breathed new life into Maroon 5. Known for dramatic pop-rock songs like "Misery" and "Wake Up Call," their first proper carefree dance tune "Moves Like Jagger," featuring Christina Aguilera, which debuted on The Voice last year, is Maroon 5's biggest hit to date.

As survivors of TRL's reign, an era that saw Gwen Stefani leave No Doubt, Mariah Carey lose her mind, *NSYNC scatter and that weird dude Uncle Kracker become but a strange, distant memory, Maroon 5 has managed to ebb and flow with the times. Thanks in no small part to their frontman's uncanny ability to be extremely entertaining ("I have an almost unquenchable thirst to be the center of attention"), while tugging on his listeners' heart strings -- hard; like on their debut album Songs About Jane, the unofficial breakup soundtrack of the millennial generation.

After high school at the prestigious Brentwood Academy in L.A., where his classmates included most of the members of Maroon 5, as well as, other late -- '90s alt -- pop bands like Phantom Planet, he didn't go to college, but bummed around UCLA bars playing open mic nights. "I was a loser," he says. But it was during this time that he spotted "the most beautiful girl" he'd ever seen at a gas station. She turned out to be the infamous Jane of the album's title. A hopeless romantic, Levine wrote her a song and had a friend play it over the speakers where Jane worked. "If I really liked a girl and I felt these romantic feelings towards her, I would literally write a song and make sure they heard it. I was so bold," he remembers, shaking his head. It wasn't until a few years later that they got together, but it didn't last long. "It was a brief relationship," he explains, "but we really did fall in love with each other and when we broke up, my heart was broken. I didn't have money or a job. All I had was a girl I was in love with and the dream of being a famous musician. I was like, 'I need to turn this into something good or it's going to be a bad thing.'" And so he wrote songs that expressed his raw leftover feelings (and showcased his reggae-flavored arena-rock falsetto), like "Harder to Breathe," "This Love," "Sunday Morning" and "She Will Be Loved," which is still great to pop on every now and then when you need a good cry.

Blazer and shirt by Band of Outsiders.

Ten years and three albums later, Jane is married (they still call each other up on occasion) and Levine is single again, after ending a two-year relationship with Russian model Anne V last month. Which may have had something to do with the fact that he's still baffled by the idea of marriage. "I'm extremely fascinated by marriage," he explains. "I want to study marriage. I want to learn about it. I want to know it. I want to figure out whether or not I want to do it. I'm not just going to leap into it, because that's not good for anybody." Or maybe it's because he hasn't had a day off in over a year. "Somewhere along the line I became addicted to work," laments Levine. But despite his many Grammy Awards and model girlfriends, he never takes himself too seriously, and hasn't gotten too big for his skinny jeans. Even as "Adam Levine" turns into a 360-degree brand, he insists that he has no plans to leave Maroon 5. "I'm going to do everything in my power to avoid [going solo]. Everybody does that," he says. "I spent my whole life doing everything I've ever done for Maroon 5. I love playing music with my friends." And why would he leave right now, when he can have his fragrance and smell it too? "I'm a big fan of not doing everything the way that I'm supposed to. I like to spike in some weirdness -- not that it's weird to stay in my band, but nobody does it anymore so it makes it more of a challenge to keep that as your rock."

In the studio this spring, Levine says creatively he "never felt freer," and the new album is totally "unselfconscious." In the past the band wrestled with their identity. "We were thinking to ourselves, 'Are we making a pop record? Or are we making a rock record? Are we going really organic? Or are we going really programmed?' And this was more of a song-by-song basis. It was kind of a cool collage on this record. I'm really happy with it. It just feels like it doesn't give a shit and I love that."

As season two of The Voice comes to a close (at press time, it was anybody's game to win), Levine's hoping to sign on for season three, and he's getting ready to promote Overexposed overseas this summer. But he's not planning on working overtime forever. "I just hope this isn't the case when I'm 40," he says. "I turned 33 and I thought, 'OK, this is exactly where I need to be,' and why should I stop until I get to a point where I can, and say, 'Fuck this, I'm going to go play golf.'"

Listen to the New Flaming Lips x Ke$ha x Biz Markie Collab, "2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)"


A few weeks back, we mentioned that The Flaming Lips, Ke$ha and Biz Markie were collaborating on a new song -- and sharing blood -- for TFL's Record Store Day double-album, Flaming Lips and Heady Fwends.  At the time, our minds could barely process what a track featuring one part hamster-ball-loving indie band, one part glittery party monster and one part Barbie doll-collecting rapper would sound like and now we have the answer: "2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)" pummels your ears with discordant, experimental sounds mixed in with Ke$ha's slightly ghoulish singing.  It's pretty interesting and certainly unlike anything we've heard from the pop star or Biz Markie, that's for sure. 

The album, which came out on Saturday with a limited release, appears to be sold out already but you can listen to "2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)" above.

Mankini-Wearing Karl Lagerfeld c. 1970s + Towheaded Jennifer Connelly in Today's Style Scraps

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 11.46.11 AM.pngA new biography about fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez includes these amazing, rare photos of fashion icons during the 70s.  All we know is, HELL-OOO Karl Lagerfeld c. 1970s wearing some sort of mankini! (Above) [via Fashionista]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 12.28.30 PM.pngCongrats to Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford (of band Mumford & Sons) who were wed this weekend in the English countryside.  No pics yet of the bride's dress yet but she reportedly wore a backless Versace gown.  Fashion photographer Rankin shot the nuptials and guests included Colin Firth, Sienna Miller and Jake Gyllenhaal. [via Styleite/Daily Mail]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 12.10.55 PM.pngCheck out a round-up of celebrities trying to dress like hipsters at Coachella. [via Buzzfeed]

jenniferconnellyblonde.pngJennifer Connelly looks unrecognizable as a blonde in her new movie, Virginia. [via Stylelist]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 12.23.14 PM.pngCan't Urban Outfitters quit it with the offensive clothing already?  After marketing accessories with the descriptor "Navajo," (and angering the Navajo Nation in the proces), the retailer is now in trouble with the Anti-Defamation League over a t-shirt that calls to mind the yellow Stars of David that Jews had to wear during the Holocaust. [via Huffington Post]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 12.30.24 PM.pngThis is what Lady Gaga looks like when she travels. [via The Cut]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 12.33.32 PM.pngKate Upton proves she can do high fashion in the May issue of Harper's Bazaar. [via High Snobette]

Listen to the First Single From Fiona Apple's New Album!

Fiona-Apple-Every-Single-Night-600x450.jpg Fiona Apple released the first single off her extremely anticipated (she hasn't released an album in seven years) and extremely long-titled forthcoming LP, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do. The track, "Every Single Night," debuted live during Apple's set at SXSW and features delicate instrumentals alongside Apple's woozy, shape-shifting voice. Listen to the song above and keep an eye out for the album, which comes out via Epic on June 19th.

Get Into the Groove at the 9th Annual Madonnathon

13-elg.jpgSales of her new album may be a little disappointing, but the annual party celebrating Madonna's birthday is still on.  This year's ninth "Madonnathon" takes place this Friday, April 27, at Brooklyn Bowl (61 Wythe Avenue, Williamsburg) and advance tickets are only $7 or $10 at the door.  Recommended dress: "Virgin bride, lucky star, peepshow dancer, geisha glam, cone bra, urban cowgirl, Evita etc." We're going as "British lady from Bay City Michigan." Tickets here.

"The Scream" to Sell For Over $80 Million at Sotheby's

f46d04f57b0f10f71f221a.jpgEdvard Munch's "The Scream" will be auctioned at Sotheby's here in New York and it's expected to sell for over $80 million. Yikes!  The pastel-on-board version from 1895 could even become the most expensive work ever sold at auction -- if it tops the $106.5 million paid recently for a Picasso.  But why is the guy in the painting screaming?  The work's current owner, Petter Olsen, tells the Financial Times that it depicts the artist's "feeling of anxiety" and the "great scream in nature." In other news, Papermag will be auctioning this version of the scream tomorrow. It's expected to sell for the price of a lovely cheese pizza, just for you.

We Want: Vans X Kenzo Sneakers

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It's been nearly a year since Humberto Leon and Carol Lim, the cool cats behind downtown fashion emporium Opening Ceremony, took creative helm over at Kenzo, ringing in a game-changing new era for the Parisian label. We've all been big fans of their design partnerships over the years at OC and their latest offbeat collaboration with Vans is a prime example of the mix-and-match magic only Leon and Lim can muster. Kenzo and Vans plan on releasing a series of sneaks in stores throughout the summer months and, needless to say, we're gagging with excitement. The iconic skater kicks ($125) have been Kenzo-fied with some of Leon and Lim's vibrant spring patterns and are offered for both men and women in seven ultra-sharp, highly collectible color combos. My feet say thank you.

Available mid-May at Opening Ceremony, Colette and Harvey Nichols

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Graffiti Marriage Proposal + Bowling With Jon Hamm = Eight Items Or Less

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 5.41.36 PM.png1.  A man in Detroit proposed to his girlfriend via graffiti. Thankfully for the sake of the tagger's street cred, she said "yes." [via Laughing Squid]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 5.47.25 PM.png2.  Hall & Oates are headlining a festival in Brooklyn called "The Great Googa Mooga." [via Gothamist]

3. NYC's People's Pops is teaming up with New Zealand's Kim Crawford wines on a trio of boozy popsicles that feature either their Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc varietals. [via Kim Crawford]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 5.59.02 PM.png4. A few months ago, we speculated about who should take the role of Elizabeth Taylor in an upcoming project and, in what's either a brilliant or awful move (jury's still out for us), Lifetime officially announced it has cast Lindsay Lohan as the legendary actress in their forthcoming biopic about Taylor and her volatile relationship with Richard Burton. [via Hollywood Reporter/Image via Interview]

5. Watch Mad Men's Jon Hamm (Don), Vincent Kartheiser (Pete), Rich Sommer (Harry Crane) and series creator Matthew Weiner challenge a team that includes Weird Al Yankovic to a game of bowling.  Pete with a beard, Pete with a BEARD! [via Oh No They Didn't/Nerdist]

6. Partners & Spade gallery will be hosting an "Avant Garde Preschool" with artist Julia Chiang in which children ages 6-10 are encouraged to come in and create sculptures through language.  The $40 tuition will be donated to RxArt and email rena_stein@rxartn.net to RSVP. [via Partners & Spade]

7.  Apparently the man with the #1 song in the country, Gotye, is none too pleased with the version that the kids on Glee did, calling it, "dinky and wrong."  [via Stereogum/Sunday Herald Sun]

Screen shot 2012-04-23 at 6.32.09 PM.png8. Zach Galifianakis' Between Two Ferns is coming to Comedy Central. [via Flavorwire/Huffington Post Comedy]

Tips for Today: Emeli Sandé + Janeane Garofalo + Madeleine Albright

Emeli Sandé + Yuna at Music Hall of Williamsburg

Twenty-three-year-old Brit-based soul phenom Emeli Sandé (who also happens to have a degree in neuroscience from the University of Glasgow) is already a chart-topping artist across the time. She shares her emotionally raw tunes with us Americans tonight, a few months before the June release of her debut album "Our Version of Events." She's joined by Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna.

Music Hall of Williamsburg, 66 N. 6th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 8 p.m. $15.

Janeane Garofalo at Littlefield

The always hilarious Ms. Garofalo (who we just learned was initially supposed to "Monica" on Friends) brings her sharp wit to Littlefield tonight, where she'll be doing her thing alongside Eugene Mirman, Jon Glaser, Heather Lawless and Amy Schumer at a benefit for Brooklyn Free Space, a cooperative pre-school in Park Slope.

Littlefield, 622 Degraw St., Gowanus, Brooklyn. 8 p.m. $8.

Madeleine Albright at Barnes & Noble

The former Secretary of State will be chatting about and signing copies of her new memoir, Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937 through 1948, about her formative years growing up in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia and fleeing to London.

Barnes & Noble, 33 E. 17th St. 7:30 p.m. Free.

Morning Funnies: Josh Hutcherson Named His Dog After Ryan Gosling + Damien Hirst M&Ms Art


joshh-ryan-gosling.png josh-and-driver.jpgAll signs point to former PAPER Beautiful Person and Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson being great at naming dogs. [Via After Elton. Photo via OK!, Headline via UsWeekly.]

Perro gimnasta! Watch this little dog get down with some gymnastics rings. [Death+Taxes]

s-LATE-SHOW-large.jpgJason Segel was ordered to lose 30 pounds by a studio head, just like real-life actresses are treated all the time and everything! (Watch him discuss on Letterman last night.) [HuffPo]

Damien Hirst art recreated with M&Ms. [LostAtEMinor]

437-520x653.jpg Just some casual bed-time looks from a 1979 Victoria's Secret catalog. More here (not NSFW-ish). [Via Retronaut]

tumblr_m2y922gP3b1qhub34o1_500.jpgLorne Michaels art work in the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon office. [LateNightJimmy]
 s384616_316004328421098_299320806756117_1085642_1595855672_n.jpgVintage portraits as superheroes. More here. [Via BoingBoing]

madmen-first-aid.pngChristoph Niemann offers some helpful new first-aid maneuvers for strangers in distress. [Abstract Sunday]

alexsimon-thumb.pngIn erstwhile Real Housewives of New York stars Alex McCord and Simon van Kempen's 2010 book about child rearing, McCord writes that van Kempen EJACULATED ON HER WHILE SHE WAS GIVING BIRTH. [Via Jezebel. Ramona Singer GIFS via ONTD + FuckYeahRealHousewives]

Get Your Free Great Googa Mooga Tickets!

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The Great GoogaMooga, Brooklyn's FREE and/or $250-a-ticket music and food festival, finally announced the bands that will be performing and...actually, they're not bad. We really love the fact that they've booked Hall & Oates and Fitz & the Tantrums on the same day. The FREE admission tickets will be available today, April 24, at noon, or you can pay $250 for access to a special main stage viewing area up-front and free food, beer, wine and cocktails, which, when you really break it down it a pretty good deal! The two-day fest in Prospect Park's Nethermead Meadow (don't you love that name) will feature:

The Roots
Holy Ghost!
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
The Pedrito Martinez Group
Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens
Bear Hands
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Fort Lean
Unchained "the Mighty Van Halen Tribute"

Daryl Hall & John Oates
Fitz & the Tantrums
Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires
Lez Zeppelin

Food vendors include Blue Ribbon, Big Gay Ice Cream, Red Rooster Harlem, Vingear Hill House, M. Wells, the Meat Hook, Mile End, Seersucker. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and mooooore.

Coachella Weekend #2: The Rolling Stone/Milk Studios Pool Party + the KROQ House

The second week of Coachella brought party people back to desert for music, freebies and of course fashionable carousing. With higher temps, the focus seemed to be on pool play rather than dance floor popping during the day. This was definitely the case on Saturday at the Rolling Stone magazine three day takeover of the Rivera Hotel Palm Springs with creative colletive FAM NYC and Milk Studios. Same also went for the KROQ house near the festival. Both bashes saw a bevy of BBQ'd eats, free booze, live bands and cute kids in bathing suits playing ball and having one too.  

Barbra Streisand, Original Hipster

If you thought dads were the original hipsters, well, you thought wrong. It was Barbra Streisand, whose 70th birthday is today.  From floppy knit hats to oversized fur to cat eyes to pixie cuts, Babs has pulled off just about every look on the L train fashion spectrum. Even as a child, she could rock a quasi-politically incorrect Native American headdress way better than Vanessa Hudgens at Coachella.

Happy birthday, Babs!

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Derek Blasberg's Hoedown Birthday + Opening Ceremony Heads to London in Today's Style Scraps

Screen shot 2012-04-24 at 1.13.18 PM.pngOpening Ceremony plans to open a pop-up shop just ahead of the Summer Olympics in London's Covent Garden. [via WWD/ image via Selectism]

Screen shot 2012-04-24 at 12.46.22 PM.pngIn unhappy news today, famed designer Sonia Rykiel has revealed that she's been suffering from Parkinson's disease for the past fifteen years. [via WWD]

Derek Blasberg convinced a barn-full of fashionistas to come to his native St. Louis for a hoedown-themed 30th birthday party. [via Fashionista]

The Rebecca Minkoff sample sale is returning to NYC on May 9th. [via Racked]

Screen shot 2012-04-24 at 1.04.09 PM.pngSarah Jessica Parker stepped out in a 90s Jessica McClintock prom dress vintage Oscar de la Renta and a cardigan to the Medal of Excellence Gala honoring Bill Cunningham. [via Styleite]

We love this: Maybelline tapped P'trique from Shit Fashion Girls Say to announce Charlotte Free as their new spokesmodel.  Watch for lots of insider-y fashion cameos. [via elle.com]

Screen shot 2012-04-24 at 2.02.15 PM.pngHappy 60th Birthday, Jean Paul Gaultier! [via Vogue UK]

Pegase's "The Bad Side of Love" Is Our Music Video of the Day


Raphael Hervez, singer in the French electro-pop trio Minitel Rose, released this track under the name Pegase. Here it's used as the soundtrack to a work-in-progress documentary by Nicolas Davenel about moped gangs. Of course you can ride to any type of music -- Steppenwolf immediately comes to mind -- but we like this alternative "bad side" too. Not sure which moped gang(s) this is, but it looks like they're called Black/Black and they might be out in California. Anybody know? If you'd like to join a gang or just attend a "swarm," check out the Moped Army website. Brooklyn moped gang Mission 23 has a rally June 21st through the 24th.

Remembering Etan Patz, Still Missing 33 Years Later


628x471.jpgThe name Etan Patz still sends a chill down my spine some 33 years after he famously disappeared one morning, the first time the six year old was allowed to walk to school on his own. At the time I was working at the Soho Weekly News, still relatively new to the city after a six-year sojourn in New Orleans. Though its core mission was to cover the burgeoning downtown arts and nightlife scene, editor Al Ellenberg, a veteran of the New York Post (once a bastion of liberalism!), knew a good story when he saw one. As the posters looking for the missing boy continued to proliferate on every available surface, it became clear that this was a story that we had to cover. And I was assigned to do it.

Soho was a very different place then, less a luxury shopping mall and more of a neighborhood, the kind of place a kid could go to school on his own in the morning without fear of being kidnapped. Or so we thought. (My son is 10 and I still walk him to school every day.)

I had a lot of trepidation about calling the Patz family as I worked on the story, imagining their distress at the intrusion of a local reporter poking around. I talked to them in their loft, two cops off to the side tending to their business. When children disappear, the first suspects are the parents and, admittedly, I remember looking at them suspiciously, wondering if they were hiding anything. Later I went out with a couple of cops who were searching the neighborhood looking for anything that might connect them to the missing boy. We canvassed an empty lot on the west side, kicking cans and picking through scraps of clothing we bagged for later examination.

No meaningful evidence turned up that day, and hadn't since, until the case was revived last week. The ex-wife of Othniel Miller, a neighborhood handyman with a basement workshop at 127 Prince Street in SoHo at the time of Patz's disappearance, said Miller had raped his 10-year-old niece. The niece corroborated the story, and Prince Street was closed to traffic over the weekend as the FBI conducted an investigation, ripping up the basement floor where a cadaver dog had sniffed something. Network TV mobile units poised ready to deliver the news, photographers camping out on their fold-out chairs, the Patz family still living in the same building down the street from the investigation. But yesterday the FBI announced they had concluded the investigation after finding no immediate evidence of human remains (though the Post reports some recovered materials were sent to be tested in an FBI lab). The prime suspect in the case has long-been Jose Ramos, a drifter who dated a woman hired to walk neighborhood kids, including Patz, home from school during a bus strike. He was never charged, however, and is currently in prison in Pennsylvania on child molestation charges.

Every few years, the story pops up again, a cold hand on my shoulder reminding me of the evil that exists in this world. For years after Etan's disappearance, I'd occasionally run into Etan's parents in Soho on my way to a meeting, meal or opening, barely glancing their way, not knowing what to say. My story made it to the cover of the Soho Weekly News and I remember hoping that it would make a difference, that someone would see it and Etan Patz would be found. But that was not to be. Maybe the time has finally come.

French Presidential Candidate Uses "N*ggas In Paris" In Campaign Video


In another bizarre example of Europeans somewhat questionably co-opting American hip-hop culture, French presidential candidate François Hollande -- who beat President Nicolas Sarkozy in the first round of voting over the weekend -- has a campaign video that uses Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne track, "N*ggas in Paris," in the background.  Much has been made of the fact that Hollande's campaign has attempted to replicate some of the successful tactics that Obama used in 2008 and...maybe that prompted him to sample a song by one of POTUS' favorite artists (and some "jackass")

The video shows Hollande on the campaign trail, particularly during his visits to some of the poorer suburbs or banlieues known for their high concentration of immigrants and ethnic minorities (some have associated the footage with a dig at Sarkozy's own history of racial insensitivity), as well as shots of a diverse group of voters holding up their electoral cards.  The real bonus points for creativity, however, come during clips of Hollande in a suburb called Creil, whose pronunciation, Slate points out, leads to a very pun-ny "That shit Creil" moment.

Funny or not, you know this wouldn't fly if Mitt Romney or any other Caucasian politician used a rap song with the N-word in it (or N*gga, as the case may be) in one of their campaign videos.  And, say what you will about 'Ye and Jay, there's something simultaneously hilarious and cringeworthy watching wealthy white politicians getting into town cars or schmoozing with constituents while the swag-heavy song plays in the background.

Now that shit Creil.

[via Slate/Pitchfork]

Coachella Weekend #2: Skyy Vodka/Spin Magazine Throw Down

The Skyy Vodka/Spin Magazine party at the Reniassance Resort in Palm Springs had one of the best vibes during Coachella weekend #2. The liquor brand's new coconut flavor made for a sweet treat in the desert heat, which called for plenty of floppy hats, huge sunglasses and flip-flops courtesy of Havaianas (which had a customization booth). DJs including Ana Calderon, spun splashy, funky and rockin' tunes for the colorful crowd.  Check out pics from the shindig above.

Coachella Cuties

Dior Does Downtown

While things are getting a full-fledged make over at Dior Homme's 57th Street boutique, set to reopen in the fall, creative director Kris Van Assche has moved the shop below 14th street, to the cobbled streets of SoHo. Dior Homme's pop-up store may only be temporary, but it could also be a look into what we should expect of the flagship facelift. The Greene Street outpost is far more light and sparse than the uptown digs, mixing the contemporary glass display cases and slick lacquer shelving with the traditional architectural details of the cast-iron building -- a perfect reflection of the modern and classic duality of a Van Assche homme. The pop-up space will carry all the merch found uptown from the ultra masculine and highly tailored ready-to-wear to luxurious leather goods and footwear. On display amidst the brick walls and the classic loft columns is an eye-catching sculpture by post-situationist artist Robert Montgomery. It was  handpicked by the designer to welcome guests to the oh-so-chic shopping environment. Pop in and have a look.

Dior Homme Pop-up
133 Greene Street

Tribeca Film Festival Portraits by Henny Garfunkel

Paper photographer and seasoned documenter of film festivals Henny Garfunkel is making the rounds at Tribeca Film Festival this week, shooting portraits of actors and filmmakers. She'll be sending over her photos through the Festival, so check back to this gallery for updates. Click through above for shots of and up-and-comers and buzzy filmmakers from everyone to director Lucy Mulloy (Una Noche) and producer Julie Pacino (Billy Bates, and daughter of Al) to Hitchcock screen siren Tippi Hedren as well as Abby Cornish and Olivia Wilde. Journey, too! Check it out and go here for a schedule of show-times.