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Take the PAPERMAG Survey and Win A New Phone!

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Paper Mag survey2.jpgIt shouldn't come as any surprise that PAPERMAG loves its readers! You guys are our bread and butter, and we love seeing your reactions to our posts.

Since relationships are all about open communication (and since we're always the ones talking), we thought we would give you the opportunity to talk back to us. Just take our survey, where you'll be answering questions about what types of PAPERMAG coverage you want to see more of, and less of, and you'll be entered to win a brand-spankin'-new Samsung Galaxy SIII Phone for participating. It's a win-win situation for everyone, so get survey-taking HERE. You're a couple minutes away from making PAPERMAG even more awesome.

R.I.P. Phyllis Diller

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PAPER was saddened to hear about the death of comedy legend Phyllis Diller today. She was 95. In addition to her long and influential career, Diller was fabulously saucy, unapologetic and had crazy, inspiring style. She was also a talented artist. Stay tuned for more remembrances of Diller from PAPER and, in the meantime, re-visit this 2003 piece we recently re-posted for Diller's birthday, in which our very own Mr. Mickey married her in Vegas. R.I.P., Phyllis.



Phyllis Diller, a fashion and comedy icon, has always been near and dear to our hearts here at PAPER, and she forever cemented herself as one of our favorite feature subjects of all time when she got married to Mr. Mickey for a special Las Vegas-themed edition of Paper in 2003.

In Mickey's article, Diller reveals that she was rocking a punk look from the start, recalling that she wore "spiky hair in strange colors in 1959," long before Cyndi Lauper or anyone else trying to claim that title, and talks about a grade school teacher who humiliated her for wearing an adventurous outfit to school ("And she's dead!," Diller laughs triumphantly.)

Diller wore Ungaro to the ceremony, and changed into a custom Heatherette dress for  the ceremony. Her blushing groom wore a Three As Four jumpsuit and the wedding party included designer Isabelle Toldeo, Paige Powell, Peter Davis and "random pedestrians." Photographer Carlos Serrao snapped a few pics of the ecstatic couple before they wet off to their honeymoon -- check out the piece below.

wedding1.jpgwedding2.jpgMickey wears a jumpsuit by Three As Four. Diller wears a dress by Ungaro.

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Mickey wears a jumpsuit by Three As Four. Diller wears a custom dress and headpiece by Heatherette.

This Has the Potential to Be Creepy: Free Hugs From Models Courtesy of Shoptiques.com!

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E2CEA932-C106-4045-B1DB-8912F96A9DC0.pngYou look like you could use a hug. Luckily, this Friday, on behalf of shopping website Shoptiques.com, five models will be giving out free hugs (and Shoptiques.com shirts) across Manhattan as part of their Shoptiques <3 NY event. The website, launched this past spring by 26-year-old Harvard Business School grad Olga Vidisheva, is a curated shopping aggregator of sorts, bringing together small, local boutiques from around the world, to one online destination.
 
The huggers will embark at 11 a.m. from SoHo at the corner of Spring and Broadway and then move on to Washington Square Park to Union Square to Times Square, before ending at Columbus Circle. It won't be hard to find the models since they'll be wearing bright pink shirts. But if you just know that you'll want a hug (let's keep it un-creepy people!) then you can book one in advance and/or "track a model" here.

These Face-Kinis Have Nothing to Do With Pussy Riot + Boys React to the Ending of The Odd Life of Timothy Green In Eight Items Or Less

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Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.05.48 PM.png1. There was a gathering of topless women wearing nothing but red genie pants recently, protesting the theft of Matisse's "Odalisque in Red Trousers," stolen from Caracas's Museum of Contemporary Art in Venezuela nearly a decade ago. [via Guardian]


2. Oh no, here's two small boys freaking out over the ending of The Odd Life of Timothy Green. (Spoiler alert for the ending of The Odd Life of Timothy Green.) [via Pop Culture Brain]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.10.16 PM.png3. After making some thoughtless dumbass remarks yesterday about how women "can't get pregnant from legitimate rape," Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin may withdraw from the race.   [via Jezebel]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.12.52 PM.png4. No, these are not Pussy Riot supporters.  This photo is of two Chinese people at the beach wearing "face-kinis," which, apparently, are quite popular in that country due to many peoples' fear of getting tan, which is associated with the lower classes. [via NPR]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.18.27 PM.png5. Condoleezza Rice and a South Carolina businesswoman named Darla Moore are the first two female members allowed in Augusta National Golf Club. [via New York Times]


6. We love this ode to Bill Murray. [via The Daily What]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.24.29 PM.png7. A forthcoming installation by artist Tatzu Nishi will let visitors up scaffolding and into a room erected around NYC's Columbus statue.  Though it will only remain open for less than two months from September 20-November 18, it has already drawn criticism by members of the Italian American community who say it "disrespects the explorer's legacy."  Not helping matters is the fact that the installation will be up during the Columbus Day holiday. [via Animal NY]


Tips for Today: Dressed to Kill in NYC + Polica in L.A. + Hugh Laurie in Chicago + Le Gateau Chocolat in London

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New York
 


92YTribeca continues thrilling audiences on Tuesdays, this time with Brian DePalma's
equally campy and erotic urbanized meditation on Psycho, Dressed to Kill. The
film stars Angie Dickinson as a bored housewife whose unfortunate meeting with a razor-wielding and cross dressing killer in an elevator introduces a mystery that entangles her psychologist (Michael Caine), wiz kid son (Keith Gordon) and a street-wise prostitute (DePalma regular Nancy Allen). New York City also plays a prominent role as the setting, from a game of cat and mouse in the Met to a chic and thrilling chase scene on the subway. [Flavorpill]

Be among the first to experience the smokey, alt folk of Australian import Husky
at Joe's Pub. The indie rock group hailing from Melbourne have been doing a lot of
leg work opening for a range of touring artists from Goyte to Noah & the Whale down
under, and this will be the perfect opportunity to catch them playing from their soon to
be released album Forever Ago before they hit festivals like SXSW later this year.
[Flavorpill]

Maybe it's just the prominent featuring of illegal hacking on The Newsroom or the
giant New York City and Microsoft surveillance system, but lately we feel like someone
may be watching us. So does Garret Keizer, whose book Privacy tackles the policing
of the digital world after 9/11. Tonight, the author, and Harper's Magazine contributing editor, will have a dialogue with fellow Harper's editor Chris Beha about the thin
line between our public and private lives at the Prince Street McNally Jackson. [McNally
Jackson
]

Los Angeles 

glowphoto-full.jpgHead over to Cinefamily to experience Brett Whitcomb's  documentary G.L.O.W: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a look into the world and history of the female version of the WWF that ran in the late eighties. The film highlights many of the outrageous characters featured on the show, a selection of whom will be in attendance for a Q&A after the screening. Grab your spandex and get in the ring. [LA Weekly]

Singer/ songwriter and general queen of contemporary folksy pop Brandi Carlile will be
delivering her usual top notch live performance of her latest album, Bear Creek, at the
House of Blues Anaheim. [Flavorpill]

The Echoplex is playing house to Minneapolis musicians and Justin Vernon's (Bon Iver)
darlings Polica, who are teaming up with Chicago favorites Supreme Cuts for a night of
soothing Midwestern sound. [LA Weekly]

Chicago

defea102d96cf73ab8b5427a5bf2d24b.jpg
Dr. Gregory House trades in his cane for a guitar when Hugh Laurie takes
the stage at Park West accompanied by the Copper Bottom Band to sing the blues.
[Chicago Reader]

London

legateauimage.jpg
The bold and beautiful Le Gateau Chocolat, celebrated cabaret act and star of the lauded contemporary variety show La Soiree, incorporates elements of drag performance, opera, pop music, and occasional ribbon dancing into his performances. He stars in his solo show at the Menier Chocolate Factory tonight. [Time Out]

Contemporary UK multimedia artist and writer Jeremy Millar, whose recent projects
have ranged from photography to a life sized 'drowned' sculpture of his likeness, is
to deliver a lecture at The Photographer's Gallery, where he was the former Program
Organizer. [Zing Magazine]



Morning Funnies: Britney Spears Finds Out What Happened to Her "I'm a Slave 4 U" Snake + Honey Boo Boo Mom's Doppelgänger

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Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.35.46 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.33.25 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.33.39 PM.pngWe've already pointed out how surprisingly funny Britney Spears can be on Twitter and here's another example after she tracked down her snake partner from "I'm a Slave 4 U."  We died when we heard her name is Banana. [via Buzzfeed]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.42.37 PM.png
No thanks! [via Laughter Key]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.51.38 PM.pngAfter Rihanna appeared on Oprah... [via Tall Whitney]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.52.51 PM.pngDogs rule, cats drool! [via Bunny Food]

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 6.57.37 PM.pngFound on the shelf next to Go the F**k to Sleep. [via Pleated Jeans]

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 8.09.07 AM.pngDuring an undercover operation in England, a teen used this ID with King of the Hill's Bobby Hill's picture on it to successfully buy alcohol six times. [via The Daily Mail]


Recommendations for how to use Grindr to get some play at the GOP Convention in Tampa. [via Funny Or Die]

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 8.24.09 AM.png10,000 gold stars for whomever first realized that Honey Boo Boo's mom has a doppelgänger and it's Kevin Malone from The Office. [via Coin Farts]

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 8.30.19 AM.pngNickelback may have recruited Jason Alexander for a music video but early 00s rockers The Darkness have girls in bikinis lounging on pancakes.  AND it's "thee blog exclusive."  So there. [via Dog and Pony Show Website]

Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 8.38.32 AM.pngMitt: Like You've Never Seen Him Before. [via I, Romney]



Nelly Furtado busted out a rendition of K-Pop hit "Gangnam Style" at a recent concert. [via Buzzfeed]


paulryan_gabe_matthewmorrison.pngPaul Ryan's network sitcom look-a-likes.  Good call, good call. [Courtesy of Anna Moseley]

Dinosaur Jr.'s "Watch the Corners" Is Our Music Video of the Day

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In Dinosaur Jr.'s new video, "Watch the Corners," Tim and Eric's Tim Heidecker plays an overprotective single father whose daughter falls for the skater dude she works with at the local supermarket.  First comes love, then comes heartbreak, and then comes Tim losing his shit in the dairy aisle. Watch the simultaneously funny and sincere video above that takes place in a world where pixelation represents trouble.

"Watch the Corners" appears on Dinosaur Jr.'s forthcoming LP, I Bet On Sky, out September 18th. 

Miranda Kerr's Lipton Tea Ad + Nicki Minaj's New Perfume Bottle in Today's Style Scraps

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Here's a video to go with Lanvin's fall campaign, featuring every day people, and not models, wearing their clothes. Former Apollo Theater dancer Jacquie Tajah Murdock is clearly the star, here. [Fashionista]

2012_8_Madewell2.jpg
Ooh, United Bamboo is designing a little capsule collection for Madewell. Racked has more looks here.



Here's Miranda Kerr in a festive holiday ad for Lipton iced tea in Japan, featuring some super awkward lip synching. A check is a check. [Telegraph]

3.1.Philipp-Lim-Comic.jpg
Neato! Philip Lim's Autumn 2012 look book is comic book called Kill the Night. [HighSnobette]

gaga3.jpgLady Gaga dyed her hair "Louis Vuitton brown." Looks good, looks good. [PopCrush]

Nicki-Minaj-Fragrance-Pink-Friday.jpeg
We're getting major C-3PO-in-drag vibes from the bottle for Nicki Minaj's new fragrance, "Pink Friday," and we like it. It's in stores at the end of September. [FashionbombDaily]

A0yTiZBCMAAEPN0-300x399.jpg
Look, it's a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker on the set of Glee, where she is filming a cameo as a Vogue.com editor! Anna Wintour styled her outfit and Fashionista says that's a Lanvin necklace she's got on. Yes, that is exactly how all magazine's online editors dress. Nailed it. [Fashionista]






UNIQLO Is Bugging Out

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uniqlo5.jpegCheck out these amazing (and rather shocking) look book photos for UNIQLO's debut collaboration with Japanese streetwear designer Jun Takahashi's Undercover collection, called Uniqlo Undercover. The models are pictured posing with massive bugs who seem to have a certain penchant for stringed instruments. The campaign was shot by legendary photographer Tim Walker, whose work is regularly seen in Vogue, and the insects were designed by prominent art director Rhea Thierstein. Creepy and cool!

The line hits stores on August 31, and prices will range from $9.90 to $199.99.



uniqlo2.jpeg Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 11.45.50 AM.png
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If PAPER Cast the Next Judge on American Idol...

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We heard today that Nicki Minaj would be joining Mariah Carey as the latest judge on American Idol and, aside from foreseeing a massive reality TV ratings showdown between all of these Top 40 princesses (Mars Curiosity Rover BFF Britney Spears has signed onto The X-Factor and Christina Aguilera renewed her contract on The Voice), our thoughts turned to what would happen if we were in charge of booking the judges (seeing as we did such a bang-up job casting the next season of Dancing With the Stars). 

Herewith, we put our medicore Photoshop skills to use on some old American Idol stills (we can dream Paula and Simon are still involved) and came up with our shortlist for the next next judge of AI...you know, in case Lil Wayne tells Nicki to drop out or something...

saltnpepaAI.png1. Salt-N-Pepa
The 80s/90s throwback judge's chair has been getting cold since Paula Abdul vacated it and, admit it, the "Push It" gals would be so much fun!  (And, yes, the duo would have to share the one chair, and, yes, Mr. Mickey could fill in for Salt or Pep when necessary...)

riffraffAI.jpg2. Riff Raff
If anyone could give hope to the revolving door of insanely dressed (and insanely-acting) contestants, it's this guy.

kreayshawnAI.jpg3. Kreayshawn
We're kind of having a hard time justifying this one other than that she'd bring in the "white chicks who rap" demographic -- a criminally-ignored TV viewing audience, as far as we're concerned.


jakeshearsAI.jpg4. The Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears
If we're being honest, half the reason we'd want Shears on AI is so that Scissor Sisters could perform "Let's Have a Kiki" in front of millions of TV viewers.  And the show could stand to produce a dance star or two.

courtneyloveAI.jpg5. Courtney Love
Now that Simon and Paula are long gone, we think Courtney Love could offer American Idol a two-in-one deal: she'd tell it like it is better than Simon and be more unpredictable than Paula.  Woe is the contestant who does a Foo Fighters cover.

bigfreediaAI.jpg6. Big Freedia
American Idol could liven things up with some sissy bounce action.  'Nuff said.

bethdittoAI.jpg7. Beth Ditto
We're hoping that after DWTS, she'll get hooked on reality TV and bring her fabulous outfits and fabulous-er persona to the judge's chair.  We could see her becoming a nurturing, "den mother" type to all of the contestants and taking everyone for lunch at Subway.

jdsamsonAI.jpg8. JD Samson
On the heels of performing at Occupy Wall Street and organizing a reading in support of Pussy Riot, JD Samson can teach aspiring activist feminist pop singers how to spread a political message or two and also cross over into the lesbian utopia calendar industry.


Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 5.16.01 PM.png9. Mykki Blanco
Since it takes a good voice to be a singer but a good persona to be a star, we'd put money behind Mykki to teach all the pop divas-in-training how to werk it in a bra, heels and an octopus plopped on their head.

lohanthonyAI.jpg10. And, finally, Lohanthony
No one -- and we mean no one -- will offer sassier barbs than Lohanthony. Basic bitches don't have a prayer.

RELATED:
What if PAPER Cast the Next Season of Dancing With the Stars?



Help Prince Rama Make a "Now-Age Psych Opera"

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Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 2.24.17 PM.png
Funky avant-garde sister-sister duo Taraka and Nimai Larson, also known as Prince Rama, are very much expecting the apocalypse to come at the end of this year. And they want to go out with a bang. In anticipation for the release of their sixth album on November 6, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World, the band is hoping to make an accompanying 25-minute musical film, or as they call it "the first ever now-age psych opera," called Prince Rama and the Scorpion Tornado.

The eccentric duo, who are more like performance artists than a band, were discovered by Animal Collective's Avey Tare in a dive bar in Texas and are now signed to his Paw Tracks label. For the proposed film, they plan to work with the filmmakers behind Astral Projects. Prince Rama promises the film to have Bollywood-style numbers, elaborate costumes and some pretty intricate sets. It is for this reason that they have created a Kickstarter page in hopes to raise $15,000 to fund their film. They have offered some pretty... interesting prizes to the top donors including a black light dinner party, personalized love songs and on-screen credits.

 Watch the Kickstarter video below for some more trippy details about the film:

Watch Mykki Blanco's New Video, "Wavvy"

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We've been fans of Mykki Blanco's for a while now and are used to seeing the rapper in all sorts of get-ups: werking a bikini, sporting an octopus on her head, wearing a tan dress while sitting in the American Idol judge's chair (okay, that one was only in our dreams) and, occasionally, even stepping out as Michael Quattlebaum Jr.  As was the case in "Head Is a Stone," the shape-shifting artist goes back-and-forth between his make-up free look and glammed-out drag alter ego in this latest video for the Brenmar-produced track, "Wavvy."  Directed by Italian filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini, the clip shows Quattlebaum Jr. buying some drugs -- "wavvy" -- and later getting chased by a cop through Chinatown as a result.  Crisis -- and cops -- averted, we next see a slinky Mykki at a drug-and-sex shindig that rivals the party in Eyes Wide Shut.  Watch the whole thing above and, for anyone in NYC, head over to his performance tonight at Eyebeam Art + Technology Center (540 W. 21st).  It starts at 7pm.

With additional reporting by Alex Bedder


Cool Culinaria Co-Founder Charles Baum Talks Retro Restaurants and Food Fights with James Beard

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Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 5.00.50 PM.pngNostalgics who appreciate the art of dining won't be able to resist the just-launched Cool Culinaria, a collection of vintage restaurant ephemera. Pillows, aprons and tees sport throwback images, logos and menuisms, such as 'Please Don't Ask for Credit,' while the fine prints feature bygone menus ranging from London's Claridge's Hotel in 1898 to the Hollywood Brown Derby in 1948.

The project was instinctual for co-founder Charles Baum, a former restaurateur whose fondness for culinary history is in his blood: his father was Joe Baum, the P.T. Barnum of iconic New York restaurants from the Four Seasons to Windows on the World to the Rainbow Room. With partner Barbara McMahon, an avid menu collector, Baum's vast inventory encompasses 100 years of dining history, including 18th century Paris and Prohibition New York City. Baum sat down to talk the good old days of dining.

I understand you had your first oyster with James Beard.

I did. I was about 10 or 11 years old. Jim and my father were great pals and they had begun working together and my father had invited me to lunch with him. So I was tagging along at the Forum of the Twelve Caesars. The restaurant was known for its over-sized and dramatic presentations, and they ordered what appeared to me as a table-sized platter of oysters. I asked, "Am I supposed to put this entire thing in my mouth at once?" And they were slurping away, so I did it. If the truth be known, I have to admit that I could only get half that oyster down. But I love oysters now.

What other memories do you have of James Beard?

He was in the house a lot. He was present for the very first food fight in my parents'
house. I was probably about 18 years old. Beard was there, and my grandfather was
there -- it might have been his birthday. Everyone was sitting around the table all
polite, and suddenly my father launched a piece of black forest cake across the table.
A chunk glanced off my grandfather's forehead and hit Beard. After that it was just a
free-for-all.

What reason did your father have for starting this food fight?

Just for the fun of it. That was the beginning of several years of food fights at my
parents' place. We had hidden towers of pies in the basement. It was that bad -- and
we were always repainting, repainting, repainting.

What is your favorite piece in the Cool Culinaria collection?

There is a menu from a place called McDonnell's Drive-In on the site from 1940s Los Angeles. It is a representation of a certain time in this country, when the automobile culture was blossoming, and you could drive up with your date in your cool car, and someone would come take your order, and you would eat a meal for about 35 cents and impress your date. The menu says, "Good food is good health," and there are these drawn figures of the servers in
terrific outfits of the day -- the guy looks like a bellhop, actually, kind of cartoonish. It
represents a happy time of "Let me serve you."


Screen shot 2012-08-21 at 5.02.07 PM.pngIf you could bring a restaurant from the Cool Culinaria collection back to life,
which one would it be?


I have a couple. One of my favorites is in our special edition section -- it's called
Bill Miller's Riviera, and it's a nightclub in Fort Lee, New Jersey. The Riviera is
the Hudson River and it's got great graphics of the NYC skyline and the George
Washington Bridge. It's from the 1940s, a period where the impact of nightclub life
in New York was so strong that it crossed boundaries. That might be a little bit of my
Rainbow Room blood, no doubt. Another is one called the Oyster Loaf, which I think
represents the fun of Cool Culinaria -- the menu has a mermaid surfing on the back
of a lobster. And there's one called Rio Cabana, from the Concord Hotel, which was
a kosher hotel in the Catskills. There's a woman you could fall in love with on the
cover of the menu -- like one could with a movie poster of the 1930s or 40s -- a highly
unlikely way to sell food at a kosher resort.

What is your wish for the future of the Rainbow Room, which has been in
limbo due to lawsuits, and whose landmark status will be determined next
month?


In my heart, what I really hope will happen is that there will be some fantastic
restoration, physically and in spirit, with an opportunity and availability for all of us
to go back and smile the second we step off the elevator.

What do you think is really going to happen?

I literally don't know. Those that do have the opportunity to bring Rainbow back
have to figure out that it's the place that is important, and they will have to resolve all the other challenges that apparently have blocked its life.



James Franco Has Gone and Gotten Himself a T-Shirt Line

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franco1.jpegWell, we guess you can add fashion designer to James Franco's never-ending resume. Franco has been working with 7 For All Mankind jeans on their FW12 multimedia brand platform, "Hollywood Resurrection," for which he directed a series of short films starring Lily Donaldson, Cody Horn and Lou Doillon. (You can preview the episodes here.)

While Franco was filming the series, he also took over 3,100 Polaroids on set. And so naturally, the James Franco T-Shirt Collection was born. Selected images have been screen-printed on the T-shirts and come in two different color schemes: black or white. They also contain Franco's signature in the bottom left corner. The collection will debut online September 6 and each shirt will go for $89.


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David Byrne's BAM Bike Racks + Breaking Bad-Inspired "Meth Candy" in Today's Eight Items or Less

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David Byrne Bike Racks3_PCDino Perrucci.jpg1. BAM has unveiled two new bike racks designed by musician David Byrne especially for the Brooklyn arts institution. The blue racks feature interchangable letters, and currently form the words "pink crown" and "micro lip." [via press release]

457537-office_super.jpg2. The Office will end after this next season. [via David Itzkoff]

tumblr_m89um8wMNO1rrzdyo.gif3. Kanye West is "in talks" to be a judge on American Idol. That's all well and good, but what about JD Samson?! [via Vulture]

enhanced-buzz-4583-1345568645-1.jpg4. Here's little Suri Cruise giving a photographer some 'tude. Also, Katie and Tom officially got divorced today. [via BuzzFeed]

cleopatras.jpg5. Cleopatra's, a gallery in Greenpoint operated by Bridget Donahue, Bridget Finn, Colleen Grennan and Erin Somerville, will be representing Brooklyn at the Shanghai Biennial, which starts this October. [via New York Observer]

trogloraptor.jpg6. A new species of spider, named the Trogloraptor, has been discovered in a cave in Oregon. [via World's Best Ever]

7. Didjya know? "Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan" is an anagram for "My Ultimate Ayn Rand Porn." [via Death and Taxes]

methcandy.jpg8. A woman in New Mexico is selling Breaking Bad-inspired "meth candy." [via Gawker

Remembering Phyllis Diller

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Following the death of Phyllis Diller at the age of 95 yesterday, Paper's Kim Hastreiter and Mickey Boardman, who were friendly with Diller, share a few anecdotes and stories about the comedy legend and artist. 



kimbyphyllis01.jpgPortrait of Kim by Phyllis Diller


From Kim:

We were doing a Las Vegas-themed issue and had gone out there to shoot a story in which Phyllis Diller and Mickey pretended to get married at a drive-through chapel. We couldn't believe she agreed to do it. It was summer in Las Vegas and like 120 degrees, and they told us she could only stay and do the shoot for 30 minutes because it was so hot out and because she had an art opening later that night. The whole photo shoot was set up, we had like 30 people there to participate in the fake ceremony including threeAsFour, Heatherette, Ruben and Isabel Toledo, Peter Davis and Paige Powell, who had borrowed animals from the local animal shelter to be in the shoot. All we needed was Phyllis. So Mickey and I went and picked her up in this giant Escalade -- we had been given five Escalades by Cadillac to get around in while we were in Las Vegas. Phyllis was staying with one of the McGuire sisters, Phyllis McGuire, who used to date a gangster and had a giant, 40-foot-tall Eiffel Tower replica in her living room. We had such limited time with Phyllis that everything had to happen on schedule, and Mickey and I got into this big fight on the way there because he went the wrong way and got us lost and I was screaming at him and he was screaming at me. We finally get to this giant mansion in Las Vegas and we go up and ring the door bell and we're like, "Hi, we're here to pick up Ms. Diller." We go in, we look at the Eiffel Tower, and then Phyllis comes out and we take her to this Escalade outside and she's like, 'I don't know why I agreed to this. It's so hot. Who are you, anyway?' That was the first thing she said to us. She chewed us out a little bit, but she was OK, and she gets in the car and I'm like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe I'm in an Escalade with Phyllis Diller and Mickey. We're making small talk with Phyllis Diller in an Escalade.' The whole thing was absurd.


4wedding2.jpgFrom Paper's 2003 "Last Vegas" issue.

We get to the wedding chapel and we take her into this little room in the back so she can change into this Heatherette wedding dress we had for the story. Isabel Toledo helped me get Phyllis dressed and her wig kept coming off while we were trying to get the gown on. But we got the dress on and she was such a good sport, standing there in a Heatherette wedding dress, and she's like, 'Alright, let's get this thing over with.' The photographer, Carlos Serrao, was amazing. He had everything planned and set up. We had the car with the streamers that said 'Just Married' and everyone had confetti. So we bring her down, and she's eager to get everything going, and she's kind of standing there grumbling to herself. And then the photographer was like, "OK are you ready, Ms. Diller? One, two, three!" And Phyllis, who had been standing there, so not feeling any of what was happening around her, just became totally animated. She did this beautiful pose and gave this huge smile. We literally took like three shots, these photos of her with this huge, huge smile. She really put it on for the camera. She was like, 'Did you get it? I gotta get go. I gotta get to my art show.' And then Isabel had to help her with her wig and the dress again. The whole thing was over in the blink of an eye and the photos were just magnificent. And that's how I first met Phyllis Diller.

Kim Phyllis Mickey.jpg Kim, Phyllis Diller and Mickey.

Then, after that, I was in L.A. doing PAPER's L.A. Project. Cameron Silver and his boyfriend Jeff told me they were going to Phyllis Diller's house for tea and invited me along. She loved gay boys and she really loved Cameron and Jeff. You'd go to her house, it was this classic old Brentwood mansion with a giant portrait of Bob Hope, who she loved. You'd sit with Phyllis and have a couple martinis and talk. And then after a little while of chatting, you'd go and look at her art and at her room where she kept her amazing dresses and wigs. They kept telling me that Phyllis was an artist and loved to sell her art, but I had never seen her work. I was riveted. The art was so crazy and fabulous. She had these sales every year and opened her house to the public and people would be lined up out the door to buy her stuff. There would be a painting that was $30,000 and then next to it there would be a painting that was $100.00. I was like, 'How do you decide the prices?' And she goes, 'Well, the ones I don't want to sell I just make really expensive.' The best painting in the whole house was the first one you saw when you walked in. It was a stage, with a big spot light on the curtain and an empty stool. That one was $30,000.

After that visit, she sent me a portrait of myself in the mail as a gift. It's the best. I'm so lucky to have that.

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Phyllis Diller and Jeffrey Deitch; "Nude Juggler" by Phyllis Diller.

The next time I was there, I took Mickey. And of course Mickey died. Her house was to die for. She would tell these dirty jokes and these stories about Bob Hope. We'd drink martinis and she'd serve little old lady hors d'oeuvres like Ritz Crackers and we'd chat. She always made time for us. Another time I took Jeffrey Deitch, who is the director of MoCA, and he was really excited. Her dream was to always have a museum show and she got extra dolled up for Jeffrey and just charmed him. I don't think she thought of herself just as an actress or a comedian, I think she thought of herself as an artist. Doing TV and movies were not her only world. Jeffrey brought a self-portrait of hers and she made a big point of telling him that she never sold self-portraits but that she was willing to make an exception for him. I brought a painting of a nude juggler and she was like, 'Which balls do you watch?' and then cackled. She had this amazing cackle, this throaty 'Eh, eh, eh!' I never stayed for more than an hour or so when I came to visit, but this time she asked Jeffrey and I if we'd like to get a bite to eat.  So we get in her car, which was like a 1989 Lincoln Continental, with her assistant Carla driving. Jeffrey and I were in the back seat of this giant car, which was really low to the ground, while Phyllis held court and pointed out the sites of Brentwood to us. They drove us to this beach restaurant near Santa Monica that was an old gay bar that also served bad Italian food. We get there and the restaurant is empty except for a few people and all of these old gay waiters. She was like, "Hi, fellas!" They all knew her.

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Joey Arias with a portrait of Phyllis Diller in Diller's home; Kim and Joey next to a portrait of Bob Hope in Diller's home.

The last time I saw her was New Year's Eve last year. I was in L.A. playing with Pink Martini and Thomas Lauderdale was dying to meet her. She was slowing down and not feeling well and I had asked her to come see the show but she wanted us to come to dinner instead. So me, Thomas and Joey Arias went to her house and ate chili with her in her kitchen. She was also a musician and played the piano and had a couple of pianos in her house. I knew she wasn't feeling well, she was quiet and wasn't herself, so I suggested that Thomas and Joey play a song for her to cheer her up. So we went into the library and we played Pink Martini for her and she loved it. Joey sang to her and it was sweet and beautiful. A friend of Phyllis' who was also there was blown away and was like, 'She should do a duet with Pink Martini.' So Thomas took his recording equipment over there a month later and they did Charlie Chaplin's "Smile." I told Thomas to record her laugh, that great "Eh, eh, eh!", and have it at the end of the song, but he wanted to keep it pure and left it out. It's still a beautiful song. [Ed note: Listen to the song below.]


Phyllis with Mickey and portrait.jpgPhyllis Diller, her portrait of Mr. Mickey and Mr. Mickey


From Mr. Mickey:

For some people a jaunt to Los Angeles means a trip to Disneyland or to have drinks at the Chateau Marmont. For me, the highlight of any trip to the City of Angels was always a visit with my almost-wife Phyllis Diller. Phyllis lived in Brentwood in a gorgeous old house, the oldest on the block from around 1910, and the hallways were filled with her paintings, all conveniently marked with price-tags for easy shopping. Earlier this year I had a reunion with some college friends in LA and although Ms. Diller was well into her 90s, she didn't hesitate to have us all over for a visit. It always started with cocktail, or in my case a mocktail, and a little tour of the house. My friends and I tried on Miss Diller's hats in her hat closet, drooled over her old costumes and gathered up piles of old 8 x 10 publicity shots for her to sign. Naturally we all picked at least one painting. Over more drinks, Miss Diller told us stories about Bob Hope as she signed everyone's paintings and 8 x 10s. She was one of the most entertaining hostesses I've ever come across. A favorite moment came on my first visit there with Kim. After seeing the gorgeous new landscaping in the backyard, Kim said, 'Miss Diller it's so lush back here. Do you get much wildlife?' Without missing a beat Ms. Diller earnestly responded, 'I have a gorilla that comes at night and fucks me.' She threw her head back and let loose with the signature killer Diller cackle.

Bob Mackie Headdress.jpgPhyllis Diller's Bob Mackie headdress.

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The wig room.


Ed note: Below, Phyllis Diller and Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini perform "Smile." This is just so sweet, it'll make your heart hurt.





Tips for Today: Al Green in NYC + Esperanza Spalding in L.A. + My Morning Jacket in Chicago + Matt Okine in London

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New York

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 4.26.31 PM.pngIt's going to be a soulful and smooth Wednesday night when you groove along with the legendary Al Green at The Beacon Theatre. The 63-year-old Reverand (who preaches at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, TN) will be joined by his a 13-piece band, as well as his daughters Rubi, Kora and Alva on backing vocals. [NY Mag]

Mike O'Brien, 2012 PAPER Beautiful Person, SNL writer and the brilliant weirdo behind "7 Minutes in Heaven," takes to the UCB Theatre tonight for his one-man show, 45 Minutes of Things, where he does... 45 minutes of things, which we can only assume will be hilarious. [Time Out]

As part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Latinbeat 2012 festival, the 2011 Argentinian film, One Love, about a group of childhood friends reunited as adults, screens tonight. Star Elena Roger (who currently stars in Evita on Broadway) will be on hand after the screening for a Q&A. [FilmLinc]

Los Angeles

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 5.21.21 PM.pngEsperanza Spalding, the great jazz bassist and singer who basically caused Justin Bieber fangirls to convulse in anger when she rightfully beat him out at 2011s Grammy's for "Best New Artist," sings to her fans tonight at Hollywood Bowl. She opens for the legendary Anita Baker. [LA Weekly]

Joshua Cohen will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Four New Messages, a collection of stories about unhappy young people living in a world fully dominated and controlled by technology, at Book Soup. [zing]

Chicago

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 5.33.34 PM.pngMy Morning Jacket and Band of Horses are two bands that have become immensely popular yet have still been able to successfully stick to their indie roots. The two bands play together tonight at Pritzker Pavilion in Millenium Park. [Chicago Reader]

Party time, excellent for real: It's an epic battle of the '90s goofy dudes! Tonight at Lincoln Hall there will be a double screening of Wayne's World and Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. [Flavorpill]

London

Screen shot 2012-08-20 at 5.49.03 PM.pngLaugh it up tonight with a double set of the winners of Best Newcomers at the Melbourne Comedy Festival at the Soho Theatre. First place winner Matt Okine will perform a set called "Being Black and Chicken and Shit" which is oddly enough going to be about seafood, not chicken. Runner-up Ronny Chieng opens. [Time Out]

Morning Funnies: Naked Prince Harry + Avril Lavigne and the Guy From Nickelback Are Engaged

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Prince Harry went to Las Vegas with some friends, which lead to them picking up some girls, which, according to TMZ, lead to a classic game of "strip billiards" and these photos. Says the Queen. [DListed]

avril-lavigne-600.jpgOh jeez oh no no no: Nickelback's Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne are engaged. [People]

1345295582-0.jpgOur new favorite single-purpose Tumblr: Dogshaming. [FYeahDementia]

tumblr_m950ndJfg71resz14o1_1280.jpgBehold, the horrifying allure of Little Face Mitt, a site dedicated to "Unsettling photos of Mitt Romney with a very tiny face." He'll eat your children.

Oregon-Trail-call-me-maybe.jpg Oregon Trail X "Call Me Maybe" = Perfect. [Slackatory]

feministobama3.jpgHey girl, it's feminist Barack Obama. [Nerve]

tumblr_m7wy34o36A1r89nyfo1_500.jpgEasy livin'. [RatsOff]


Here's a sort of sweet video of a super-excited Tracy Morgan seeing the unveiling of a massive shark tank he had installed in his basement. We're gonna need a bigger tank! Watch to the end: 2:17 is the best part. [Vulture]

40licksgifts14.gifNeed a light? [40 Licks via MyModernMet]

558476_461967703826294_1002318323_n.jpgD.I.Y. Lacoste. [Reddit]

tumblr_m8tt6d5H5j1r5ad69o1_400.pngTyped in the key of butts. [CoinFarts]










Garbage's "Big Bright World" Is Our Music Video of the Day

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In Garbage's latest music video, "Big Bright World," which was directed by Julie Orser (who was also behind their mini-film "Control," which premiered exclusively on PAPERMAG this spring), we see (and hear) singer Shirley Manson in gothic, black-and-white clips featuring images of graveyards, wilting flowers and Manson wrapped in a veil.  Just as you get used to these dark scenes, however, beautiful bursts of color shoot onto the screen, including many shots of a woman swimming underwater in a red dress.  It's a gorgeously-directed video and, much like the album the song comes from, Not Your Kind of People, proves that Garbage is as good as ever.


Watch Basically Every Celebrity Ever Talk About Fashion's Night Out In This New PSA

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All we could think of while watching this PSA for Fashion's Night Out was that it was kind of like watching a clown car -- in only 2:30 Anna Wintour & Co. have managed to squeeze in more celebrities and bold-faced names than we thought possible.  Watch entertainers like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Usher, Olivia Wilde, Kristen Wiig, Solange Knowles and Jessica Paré join models Karlie Kloss, Coco Rocha, Doutzen Kroes and Arizona Muse and, of course, designers like Tory Burch, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Pamela Love, Carolina Herrera, Victoria Beckham and Alexander Wang say inane things about how much they love FNO while Glee's Darren Criss sings Madonna's "Dress You Up."  The only people missing, though, are Vogue cover star Lady Gaga and Wintour herself along with all of her Vogue-ettes (we could've really used an André Leon Talley appearance).  ALT, Wintour and Gaga aside, it's a really fun video with all these cameos and you should watch it above.

In case it wasn't clear, Fashion's Night Out is "not the 5th" -- it's "definitely" Thursday, September 6th (thanks Mrs. Don Draper!) -- and for more information, you can check out the official website HERE.