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Here's Michael Douglas as Liberace...

michael-douglas-liberace.jpg1. Here's a first look at Michael Douglas as Liberace in Steven Soderberg's upcoming HBO biopic on the glass-closeted singer. [Queerty]

2. Read Lena Dunham's $3.7 million book proposal. [Gawker]

2. When Cooper Union students barricaded themselves inside a school building--protesting the possible end to the school's 110 years of free tuition -- their classmates rigged up a system of pulleys, balloons, and string to deliver them pizza (donated by the Cooper alums of the Bruce High Quality Foundation). [Huffington Post]

3. RSVP here for a free Real Estate show tonight at 6 at Crest Hardware, 558 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn. [Photo by parttimemusic on Flickr]

4. Bar 82 (136 Second Avenue) hosts a record swap on Sunday at 3 p.m. with all proceeds going to Sandy-damaged New Jersey radio station WFMU. [Facebook, photo by Benjamen Walker on Flickr]

20121016_psy_gangnamstyle_xfactor1.jpg5. PSY performed a song with violent anti-American lyrics at a 2004 protest following the invasion of Iraq. [Haps]

Screen shot 2012-12-07 at 6.00.31 PM.png6. Breaking Bad cupcakes, anyone?. Mmm, meth. [PopCultureBrain]
 o-WHITE-HOUSE-CHRISTMAS-CARD-570.jpg7. Here's this year's White House Christmas card. Bo! [HuffingtonPost]

The MEGA Guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2012: Saturday

The only Miami Beach hotel with a permanent collection of contemporary art, the Sagamore (1671 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) hosts a show called "Fundamental" that features selections from their Cricket Taplin Collection and includes works by Diane Arbus, Walker Evans, Mike & Doug Starn, and Michele Oka Donner.  They're also hosting their annual Art Basel Brunch on Saturday, December 8.

The Standard Hotel Miami (40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach) is hosting a party for The Wrinkles of the City: Havana Cuba (pictured above). It's the latest book published under their Standard Press imprint run by the hotel's creative director Claire Darrow.  Wrinkles documents the recent collab between French artist JR and Brooklyn-based artist José Parlá that resulted in a huge mural installation in Havana for the Havana Biennale.  JR and Parlá photographed and recorded 25 senior citizens who had lived through the Cuban revolution.  There will also be a screening of a documentary film about the project.

The NADA fair hosts their annual "Pool Party" from 2 to 7 p.m. around (and in?) the Deauville Hotel's (6701 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) outdoor pool.  Look for beach paintings, installations, nail art and a performance by Dent May, plus DJs Tim Barber, Nelleke McCowan and Nektar De Stagni

NYC's bar/club/gallery LIT has a party tonight at The Garage (1661 Pennsylvania Avenue) with DJs including Paul Sevigny and Brian Degraw

The annual SPiN Galactic Ping Pong Tournament is this afternoon, 3 to 6 p.m., at the Standard Hotel (40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach).

One of the week's biggest and best parties, Basel Castle (41 NW 20th Street, Wynwood, Miami), returns tonight. This year's combo of art + music includes performances by Purity Ring, Twin Shadow, Brenmar, Dave 1 (Chromeo) Dj set, Jacuzzi Boys, Nick Catchdubs and tons more. On the visual-arts side, look for works by Anthony Lister, Buff Monster, Ron English, Anthony Ausgang, Mike Bode and more. Register here for a free ticket, but be aware that entry is still first-come-first-serve, starting at 6 p.m.

For the second year, Art Basel will be using the giant 7,000-square-foot video wall on the side of the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center as a showcase for their Art Video series.  There will be a special dusk-to-dawn screening of the 12-hour film "Bliss" by Ragnar Kjartansson starting tonight at 6 p.m.  BYO food, beverage and blanket.

Superstar DJ Tiesto is spinning at LIV in the Fontainebleau Hotel (4441 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach). It's the last night of his 8-city world tour sponsored by GUESS. He's also scheduled for a performance and autograph signing at the GUESS store on Lincoln Road at 6 p.m.

Moncler is opening a new store in the Bal Harbour Shops (9700 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach). Pharrell Williams will be in the store at 6 p.m. to sign copies of his book Pharrell: Places and Spaces I've Been. BTW: Pharrell's Miami apartment is for sale.  Where's he going?

The Impossible Cool and Sonic Editions are having a "poolside" party hosted by blogger Sean Sullivan at the Freehand Miami (2727 Indian Creek Drive, Miami Beach) this afternoon.

The University of Miami hosts their fifth annual exhibit of works by their Masters in Fine Arts students with an opening reception from 2 to 10 p.m. in the Wynwood Building (2750 NW 3rd Avenue. Suite 4).

Check out "Free Radical," new works by Miami artist Jona Cerwinske, in Midtown Miami building 4 around 5 p.m.  Also on board: Knowa and DJ Courtney.

Photo: JR and José Parlá, La Havana, Alica Adela Hernandez Fernadez, 2012.

The MEGA Guide to Art Basel Miami Beach 2012: Sunday

If you're still in Miami (and still breathing) head over to the Standard Hotel (40 Island Avenue, Miami Beach) for their annual Lazy Sunday BBQ.

The Royal Palm (1545 Collins Avenue, South Beach) has been re-born as a new member of the James group of hotels.  They are hosting this year's (invite-only) official AB/MB closing party today.

Brand new label Soul Clap Records is having a cool BBQ and live music "jam" from 5 p.m. until late at the Electric Pickle (2826 N Miami Avenue, Miami).  The line-up includes Soul Clap, Night Plane, Nick Monaco, Will Renault, Slap & Tickle and Pelvic Thrust.

Morning Funnies: Jamie Foxx as Madea/Alex Cross + Downton Abbey Up In NYC


Jamie Foxx hosted SNL over the weekend and starred in this amazing trailer for an action movie featuring Tyler Perry's Alex Cross and Madea characters wrapped into one crime-fighting hero. [TheWrap]

tumblr_mesiq9Lb9f1r5qvojo1_1280.jpgDownton Abbey X Columbus Circle Station.
P.S. AHHHHHHHH! Ahhhhh! Whattt? Where were we? When did this happen? Come back, cast of Downton Abbey! (We need to update our "Downton Abbey Stars On-Screen Vs. Off blog, STAT. Also, shout out to Thomas for having the most flattering outerwear.)[LaughterKey]

An entrancing super-cut of RuPaul saying "Don't Fuck It Up" on Drag Race. Watch on repeat next time you're getting ready to do something really challenging, like speaking in public, changing a flat tire by yourself or applying false eyelashes. [Vulture]

20110509rupaul.jpgAnd speaking of... RuPaul will guest star as a hairdresser on Happy Endings! His episode airs in early 2013. Don't f*ck it up, Ru. [Vulture]
enhanced-buzz-wide-20486-1354919010-11.jpgJuno, the music-loving Beluga whale at the Mystic aquarium in Connecticut, got a private concert from a sax-playing Santa. Heart explosion. [Buzzfeed]

tumblr_ln5w95aU5K1qlfolzo1_1280.jpgYe olde Steve Buscemi tintype. [ThisIsntHappiness]

tumblr_meog08Pvcm1qiavcao1_500.gifFrom Daily Dot's roundup of famous works of art re-done by Reddit user shitty_watercolor. GIF by Challenger.

tumblr_mese7oLDL21ro3d7oo1_500.jpgOur Carlin who art in heaven. [LaughterKey]

tumblr_meobldzs2e1qz6f9yo1_500.jpgMotto for 2013. [RatsOff]

homerhipster.pngHomer Simpson on last night's amazing Simpsons send-up of Portland hipster culture. (Portlandia's Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein guest starred as a hipster couple who move to Springfield with their son T. Rex, played by Patton Oswalt.) [PopCultureBrain]

elesm.jpgDon't you think Phony Phone can be so fake sometimes? (Don't tell him we said that.) [PleatedJeans]

tumblr_mdm2c1nDc91qb58x7o1_500.jpgSloths just get it. [TallWhitney]

tumblr_mesqv2v4Xg1qaq4gco1_500.jpgMozzy Hexmas! Morrissey Christmas tree toppers are now available on Etsy. [Flavorpill]

Annie Screens Tonight at IFC

FILM: Annie at IFC Center
Annie, the belting, redhead orphan is having a moment. First, she's back on Broadway, and now she's getting her own place in the IFC Queer Art film series with a screening of the 1982 classic starring Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Tim Curry and Bernadette Peters. How exactly is Annie a queer-themed film? Let actress and cabaret superstar Erin Markey explain how Annie's "musical orphan life" inspires and embodies the life of an outsider and a queered sense of success when she introduces the film tonight!
IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue, (212) 924-7771. 8 p.m. $13.50.

BOOKS: The Trouble Is the Banks at BookThugNation
This new volume consists of selected letters, addressed to banking executives, originally posted on the website Occupy the Boardroom. Reading tonight are editors from n+1 and local letter-writers.
BookThugNation, 100 North 3rd Street, Brooklyn. 7:30 p.m. Free

MUSIC: Gimme Tinnitus Sandy Benefit at Death By Audio
This Halloween-themed benefit for Occupy Sandy features tributes to the Ramones, Hole (by four men in drag), and George Michael. Sleepies reprise the set of Pixies covers they performed at Death By Audio on Halloween night.
Death By Audio, 49 South Second Street, Brooklyn. 9 p.m. $8

Watch Tom Tom Club's New RISD-Produced Video


Tom Tom Club recently released their first new music in over a decade on a 5-track EP called Downtown Rockers, and now there's a video for one of the songs called "Kissin' Antonio." The group -- started by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth as a Talking Heads side project in 1981 -- returned to their roots at Rhode Island School of Design and enlisted several current students to generate the clip. There are mucho graphic tricks incorporated and computer animation skills abound, but they almost overwhelm the track's simple and pleasant groove.

No Doubt Is Collaborating with Fred Perry...

chastain-w-mag.jpgW 's new art-meets-fashion issue features four different covers of Jessica Chastain by four different artists: namely Rineke Dijkstra, George Condo, Mickalene Thomas, and Chantal Joffe. The painted Chantal Joffe cover is our favorite. [via Design Scene]

jwanderons-300x450.jpgJ. W. Anderson is having a great month -- he and Simone Rocha won the British Fashion Council's top prize, the NewGen sponsorship! That's the UK's equivalent of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. [via Fashionista]

Here's Kate Upton in a Bruce Weber-shot fashion film for Vogue Germany called "It Had To Be You." Everyone is scantily clad and seems to be having a really good time. We're ok with it. [via High Snobette]

no-doubt-fred-perry.jpgFred Perry is collaborating with No Doubt! Although as The Cut points out, this collab isn't as exciting as it might seem at first glance: instead of fun, cuckoo Gwen-Stefani-from-the-90s outfits, it'll be a lot of collared shirts and sweaters.

naomi-campbell-roberto-cavalli-autumn-winter-2012-thumb-468x337-153004.jpgAfter tearing a ligament in her leg, Naomi Campbell has been touring around Art Basel in a wheelchair. [via Page Six]

lea-michele-breasts.jpgLea Michele, on her breasts: "They are my prizewinners. For a while they were out and about, showing off on Broadway every night, then they came to L.A. and were like, 'No one else looks like me here!' They were nervous to make their appearance but feel they've earned their place." [via The Cut]

157832948-800x615.jpgFor the tequila and rock n' roll lover in your life: John Varvatos Teamed up with Patrón to release a limited edition guitar bottle stopper! [via The Fashionisto]

Dezeen_Dennis_Paphitis_Aesop_sq.jpgAesop skincare founder Dennis Paphitis has some strong words about the way most brands use their retail spaces. When asked about why each store is designed differently, he said he wanted to avoid "the kind of assault on the streetscape that retailers inflict through the ordinary course of mindless business...I was horrified at the thought of Aesop evolving into a soulless chain." [via Dezeen]

The Best Party Pics from Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

There was so much to see last week at Art Basel Miami Beach 2012 that it was hard to keep track. Here's a look back at some of our favorite moments. All photos by Rebecca Smeyne, unless otherwise noted.

Best Interior Decorating: this statue of a bear in a cape holding a bowling ball from Desi Santiago's "The Black Lords."

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 2.29.04 PM.pngBest Outdoor Installation: Evan Gruzis' "Monument to Fashion" at Villa Vecchia.

Best swag: this shower filter from Jonathan Horowitz's "Free Store."

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.38.20 PM.png
Best headgear: the plastic fruit on these ladies at PAPER and Benetton's "Tutti Frutti" party.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.43.02 PM.pngBest t-shirt: this "Seapunk" number with a picture of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, spotted at Chez Deep's house party.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 2.36.21 PM.pngBest Casual Basel Look: This paw-print pasties ensemble spotted at Desi Santiago's "The Black Lords" opening.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.42.05 PM.png
Best moves: this guy at the Matthew Stone ball at Villa Vecchia.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 2.42.43 PM.pngJust kidding, this guy had the best moves at the Matthew Stone ball at Villa Vecchia.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.56.48 PM.pngBest disco nap: Casey Spooner rests up on his way to Chez Deep's house party.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.44.14 PM.png
Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.45.20 PM.png
Two's a trend: cinderblocks were on show at both OHWOW's "It Ain't Fair" and NADA's pool party.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.53.13 PM.pngBest performance art in a pool: Genevieve Belleveau and Labanna Babalon at the NADA pool party.

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 2.40.01 PM.pngBest DJ Booth: Cyril Duvall's at the NADA pool party.

Best celebrity spotting: Bey-Z at José Parla and JR's Wrinkles of the City book launch. [Photo by BillyFarrell/BFANYC.com]

russell & dvf.jpgCutest Art Basel Couple: Diane Von Furstenberg and Russell Simmons. [Photo courtesy of Syndicate Media Group]

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 1.46.16 PM.png
You can take the girl out of New York...: Roxanne Lowit wears all black to the Hole's Lazy Sunday BBQ at the Standard.

Chloë Sevigny on the Beatrice Inn...

1. Chloe Sevigny reminisces about the Beatrice Inn circa 2008: "I do remember being annoyed at the bathroom line and running across the street to the lesbian bar." Read New York magazine's oral history of the legendary nightclub here.

2. Philosophy, neuroscience and rock 'n' roll collide tonight, December 10, at Qualia Fest at The Bowery Electric (327 Bowery). The New York Consciousness Collective hosts this third edition of music by scientists who moonlight as musicians (and vice-versa). Bands include The Zombie Blues Band, Space Clamps, The Whims, Mary's Roommate, Kit Fine Trio and more. Admission is FREE and the fun starts around 7:00 p.m. [New York Times]

3. Watch New York nightlife guru Eric Goode (Area, MK, Bowery Bar etc.) and his passion for Testudines (turtles) from last night's edition of 60 Minutes. (Check out PAPER's feature on Eric's frequent business partner Sean MacPherson here.)

4. Bleecker Bob's (118 West 3rd Street) is closing for good! After 40 years, the iconic Village record store will shut down in early 2013. Stop in and buy a souvenir. [Bowery Boogie]

5. Meteorite caught on camera exploding over Texas.

6. Style.com anoints 2012 "The Year of the Pop-Up" with their best-of's including: Pop-Up Celeb: Rita Ora, Pop-Up Couple: Marc Jacobs & Harry Louis and Night of Many Pop-Ups: Opening Ceremony's Tenth Anniversary Bash.

7. Beyoncé has lent her face to a limited-edition Pepsi can. [New York Times]

"Latkes & Blunts" and Other Hanukkah Songs We Wish Existed

albumcoverfront.jpgFun fact: We are suckers for holiday music. Maybe it's due to the fact that our mom used to crank up the holiday songs on Lite FM (thank you Delilah) starting weeks before Thanksgiving or that the first CD we owned was the Jackson 5 Christmas Album but for the last few weeks, our Songza account has been tuned to various holiday-themed stations nonstop. And, while we love us a good Bing Crosby rendition of "White Christmas" or Mariah's "All I Want For Christmas Is You," we can't help but wish that interspersed between all these Christmas songs was a Hanukkah jam or two not written by Adam Sandler. For those of us lighting the menorah tonight, it feels like there are only two choices for a seasonally festive soundtrack: either play "8 Crazy Nights" on repeat or give in and listen to Michael Bublé belt out "I'll Be Home For Christmas" while you munch on a latke.

The irony is, there shouldn't be such a dearth of Hanukkah music. Not only are there many Jewish singers, DJs and musicians (or half-Jews -- like Action Bronson and David Guetta, who knew?) but many classic Christmas carols were written by Jews (not to mention all of the Christmas albums recorded by Members of the Tribe). Think what would happen if all of these Chosen People put their talents to use and wrote and recorded some Hanukkah songs! Below, we imagine some of the possibilities...

drakeholiday.jpg1. "Best (Hanukkah) I Ever Had" by Drake

On the heels of his Bar Mitzvah-inspired video for "HYFR," Drake's decided to dedicate another song to his Jewish roots. Set to Dirty South-style bass, the Hanukkah-themed track features rhymes like "Now you give the dreidel a roll-o, you already know, though / You only live once: that's the motto, YOLO / And we 'bout it eight days, eight days, eight days / Like we sittin' at the bench, we don't really play / Eight days, eight days, fuck what anybody says / Can't see 'em cause the gelt in the way." This just might be the first Hanukkah song you can twerk to.

chromeopicbigholidaysongs.jpg2. "Momma's Latkes" by Chromeo

The funky gents from the "first successful Arab and Jewish partnership" release a new single just in time for the holidays that tackles a romantic interfaith relationship. Dave1 tells a story about wooing a gentile girl during the holiday season and learning that as great as she is, she still can't compete with his mom. "And girl you got it, so sad / When the only latkes you make are so bad / And boy you got it, so wrong / When you eat her latkes and long for your mom's."  [Photo by Atisha Paulson]

davidguetta_holiday.jpg3. "Party Eight Nights Long" by David Guetta

From the start, the EDM legend's latest track builds up a hypnotic and ear-deafening crescendo of fist-pumping beats that, when listened closely, sound vaguely klezmer-inspired. As for the vocals, if you can make it past the layers of autotune, you can hear frequent collaborator Chris Willis ("Gettin' Over," "Love Is Gone") singing "Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah." If you plan to celebrate the miracle of lights in Ibiza, this is the only track you'll need.

reginaspektor_hanukkah.png4. "Judas Maccabeus" by Regina Spektor

Spektor's cryptic ballad departs from the Book of Maccabees, describing a love affair between the narrator and the titular Jewish warrior. "The Bible doesn't mention us," sings Spektor, in apparent reference to the fact that the Maccabean revolt occurred long after the appearance of the Torah.

lonelyislandhanukah.jpg5. "Turtleneck & L'chaim" by The Lonely Island

SNL viral-video goofballs the Lonely Island return with a Hanukkah-inspired Jewish jam that'll knock Weird Al's yarmulke off. The whole thing's a little bit derivative of Adam Sandler -- especially lyrics like "gefilte fish in my pants" -- but your younger brother who's still in Hebrew school and doesn't know any better will love this stuff.

maroon5holiday.jpg6. "Light the Lights With You" by Maroon 5

A far cry from the band's dance floor hit "Moves Like Jagger," "Light the Lights With You" features Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine crooning about the loneliness he feels on Hanukkah after his model girlfriend breaks up with him on the third night of the holiday. Doleful piano chords and Levine's occasional slip into falsetto heighten the feeling that there actually are things lonelier than being a Jew on Christmas -- being a Jew with a broken heart on Hanukkah.

actionbronsonholiday.jpg7. "Latkes & Blunts" by Action Bronson (Produced by Party Supplies)

Party Supplies' bass-heavy 70s funk beats, as silky smooth as canola oil, provide the backdrop for rhymes like "Grate those russet potatoes while we be smokin' / nothing like latkes when you been tokin'."

fun-bandholiday.jpg8. "Judah" by fun.

Though the band may only have one member of the Chosen People (Jack Antonoff), the trio's ebullient, power pop sound makes them uniquely capable bards when it comes to the re-telling of a larger-than-life story: Judah and the Maccabees. Highlights of the rousing song include a layer of pulsating drum beats that could remind you of the sounds of Israelites participating in Judah's rebellion.

atrakholiday.jpg9."Dreidel Trizz" by A-Trak

You'd never think a track sampling a children's Hanukkah song (that would be "I Have a Little Dreidel") could become a certified club banger but then again most wouldn't have thought a track dedicated to your mother's favorite chanteuse (that would be Duck Sauce's "Barbra Streisand") would be either. And now, A-Trak has done both. Opening with shimmery bloops and techno-fied whirs, the frenetic production goes on to feature air horns, sirens and the faint -- yet persistent -- chant of "dreidel, dreidel, dreidel / clay, clay, clay."

JessieWareholiday.jpg10. "Candle Light" by Jessie Ware

A follow-up to her song "Night Light" from Ware's debut album, Devotion, "Candle Light" features the same mournful cello intro and languid 90s-era R&B beats but with lyrics like "You'll be my candle light, there when I go to sleep / You'll be the symbol of the miracle that we keep" you can bet the soulful songstress isn't talking about a tattooed beau. No, she's talking about a menorah.

11. "Soldiers of Maccabee" by Anthrax

This thrash metal onslaught is inspired by stories of the Maccabees' guerilla fighting methods. Has been known to turn circle pits into horas.

And we'll issue a challenge: if any of these artists are inspired by our suggestions and feel like recording these holiday classics-in-the-making, there's a live venue waiting for you to premiere the track...the PAPER kitchen. Your move, guys.


The Winter Issue

Watch Bruno Mars Perform "Part Of Your World"


While the biggest Bruno Mars News of the Day is obviously that multi-platinum artist is on the cover of our new holiday issue, this video of Mars covering "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid comes in at a close second. Watch above. Gold stars all around.

The Momofuku Milk Bar Holiday Cookie Truck Will Be Giving Out Free Cookies On Saturday

Attention, people who love cookies (aka, everyone): Pastry chef and road-trip expert Christina Tosi, founder of Momofuku Milk Bar, is launching a one-day only holiday cookie truck in collaboration with American Express. This Saturday, December 15th, Christina and her mom will hand out a couple thousand of Momofuku's cookies for free lucky passersby at locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn! For those of you who've never had a Milk Bar cookie: they are really, really, really, really good. Yep, that good. American Express will be tweeting the exact location of the truck throughout the day, and in addition to the map above we've copied its schedule in full for all of you hardcore cookie-chasers:

Cookie Truck Schedule
11:00am to 11:45am - Stop 1: Central Park South - Columbus Circle Area
12:10pm to 12:55pm - Stop 2: Madison Square Park Area
1:20pm to 2:05pm - Stop 3: Union Square- 16th St & Union Sq West
2:30pm to 3:15pm - Stop 4: SoHo- Houston St & Greene St
3:40pm to 4:25pm - Stop 5: Williamsburg- Bedford Ave & North 7th St
4:50pm to 5:35pm - Stop 6: Fort Greene Park- Cumberland St & Dekalb Ave

The Dark Side of Bruno Mars

Model Karlie Kloss sashays down the runway of the 2012 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show covered in gold and silver dust. She's wearing a "Beach Sexy" bikini bottom, and a feather headdress -- which clumsily connotes Native Americans during Thanksgiving. Barbara Palvin follows, playing the part of Santa's Little Helper in thigh-high boots and angel wings formed out of giant Christmas candy canes. And at the center of this holiday-themed spectacle -- otherwise known as the "Calendar Girls" segment -- is the pop star Bruno Mars belting out "Your sex takes me to paradise," lyrics from his latest single "Locked Out of Heaven." It's a show of hedonism and glitz that Glee probably won't pay homage to anytime soon.

Just two years ago, Mars was the veritable muse of Fox's musical series, as its cast of goody-goody tweens covered two of his chart-topping songs on the show. Getting the Glee treatment was just a small slice of the whopping success this erstwhile Elvis impersonator from Hawaii has enjoyed since 2010.

Over that period, Mars put out his debut (Doo-Wops & Hooligans) that went platinum 39 times, wrote 11 top-10 hits, and won a Grammy (for "Just the Way You Are"). It's been an epic ride, one that now enters risky territory with his sophomore record, Unorthodox Jukebox, out this December.

If Doo-Wops & Hooligans revolved around G-rated romance, Unorthodox Jukebox is all about the sex. The new album still showcases Mars' singular skill for irresistible, easygoing melodies, evident in past hits "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade." But while many of the lyrics on Doo-Wops focused on overwhelming love -- sometimes requited, sometimes not -- Jukebox enters a heavier place, dwelling on an overwhelming loss of self caused by hard partying and wild women.

This made the 27-year-old a perfect fit for the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. "These beautiful women are walking around in this lingerie," Mars says. "And I'm basically pouring my heart out to them saying they're the reason I am the way I am."

It's clear that Mars loves the ladies. Seated at a Japanese restaurant on Manhattan's Lower East Side, he is a huge ham and an even bigger flirt. He's that boy in grade school who just won't stop gabbing (or randomly breaking into song), but he's too charming to ever be irritating. Just ask the petite and pretty but decidedly stoic server, whom Mars innocently prods all night just to win a smile -- which he finally achieves after loudly gushing, "You can light up a room!" The server giggles and blushes in reply.

But his interactions with the opposite sex don't always end this well. On Jukebox's second single "Young Girls," Mars sings: "All you young, wild girls / you make a mess of me / Yeah you young, wild girls / you'll be the death of me." The song is about "a young, wild dude," who happens to get "lost in the sauce," Mars says. "You're going out every night. You're drinking every night, being young... looking for love in all the wrong places." It's about trying to "take control of your life," he explains.

The new songs "definitely might be darker, a little more aggressive," he notes. "I'm saying some things that are probably going to open a lot of those doors."

One of those dark doors Mars is referring to is his 2010 arrest in Las Vegas for cocaine possession. "I know once you put it on record, it's on record -- forever." (Although those possession charges have been erased following some fines, community service and counseling.)

brunomars_2.jpg "It's weird," he admits, "because it's easier for me to sit down and write a song than actually talk about it." Given that, Mars vows he will never produce a song unless it shares "a personal story, a personal problem, a personal whatever" -- even if that makes himself vulnerable to tabloid scrutiny or means potentially alienating a fan-base more accustomed to maudlin love songs on Glee than burners fantasizing about "bomb-ass sex." Still, Mars insists, "I'm not trying to be dark. It's just me being honest and open."

And while Mars recognizes the risks involved in turning away from a winning formula so soon, he proclaims that he's not "afraid to fail." This attitude was never more evident than during Mars' gig hosting Saturday Night Live in October.

For all his commercial success so far, Bruno Mars is not Justin Timberlake. He's not Sting. And he certainly has not yet reached the renown of Mick Jagger. All of this contributed to the widespread shock that a singer with just one record out and zero acting credits (except for an appearance as "Little Elvis" in Honeymoon in Vegas twenty years ago) would join the aforementioned list of illustrious musicians who've doubled as SNL hosts. "To this day we don't know why that happened," he confesses. "I was skeptical. Everyone was skeptical."

Mars recalls telling SNL head writer Seth Meyers, "I signed up to go down in flames." But initial qualms aside, Mars remained undaunted: "It's like if you don't do this, you wasn't made for this shit if you can't take on something like that. So it was kind of a challenge. It was like, 'Fuck it, let's go.'"

And that seems to be the theme connecting all of his experiences: "The whole secret to our success was just that attitude. If we're gonna go down, we're gonna go down in style."

Fortunately, the appearance on SNL was a tremendous success, earning the show's highest ratings to that point in the season. In one skit, Mars played an intern at Pandora during a massive power outage. Faced with the potential apocalypse that would follow five minutes without Internet radio, Mars' character must fill the silence by singing as Katy Perry, Louis Armstrong and Michael Jackson, among others.

Critical to this skit was Mars' knack for musical caricatures -- a skill he developed during his very first gig as a five-year-old Elvis impersonator. Mars, whose real name is Peter Gene Hernandez, was born into a wildly diverse family in Hawaii. His father, a percussionist, was of Puerto Rican descent, while his mother, a hula dancer and singer, emigrated from the Philippines. The couple shared a passion for music, which they instilled in Mars and his five siblings at an extremely young age. As Mars grew up, he started playing with the family band, the Love Notes, while expanding his repertoire of musical mimicry to other performers such as Jackson and the Temptations.

By the age of 16, he set out on his own, regularly performing cover songs as the opening act of a nightly magic show in front of a thousand Asian tourists. Mars says that it was then that he realized "This is not what I was meant to do... I can't wake up ten years from now saying, 'Aloha, welcome to the magic show!'"

Mars decided to follow his older sister to Los Angeles, and in 2004 he signed with Motown. As a kid who grew up on Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, Mars thought he struck gold: "It's like the dream coming true." But then, nothing happened.

brunomars3.jpg"I felt like they just signed me and shelved me," he says. "You have no money and you're trying to figure out what happens, and then I got the phone call saying, you know, 'I think it's best that we go our separate ways.'"

Looking back, Mars points to being too green and lacking range in his writing. "I was just brewing and learning," he says. "Every song [I wrote] was some R&B love song."

And while Mars admits to feeling like a failure, he received enough encouragement from the industry to continue. The record-label execs liked some of his songs but wanted to give them to other artists. "That was the crossroads in my life," he says. "Either I be a snob, and I say, 'This is my music'" and move back to Hawaii penniless, or accept the offer to create music for others. Mars says "There was never a plan B." Making music is "all I wanted to ever do." And so, he chose the latter.

Soon Mars met fellow songwriter Philip Lawrence and engineer Ari Levine. The three joined forces to form the production and songwriting team the Smeezingtons. "We were just doing it on our own. Coming up with music that excited us," Mars says. And at night he was covering songs in a bar band with Jeff Bhasker (who would go on to helm records for Kanye West, fun., and Beyoncé). "That helped me so much as a songwriter and a producer, covering those songs. First of all, do you know how inspiring it is to cover a song, like 'Billie Jean'?" he asks. "You see people's eyes light up and you see the reaction, what that song does to people."

With the Smeezingtons, Mars started writing for everyone from Flo Rida to Matisyahu. And then the breakthrough came in 2010, when he cowrote and produced two songs that topped the charts: B.o.B's "Nothin' on You" and Cee Lo Green's "Fuck You." Doo-Wops was released soon after, debuting at number three on the Billboard 200.

Two years after Doo-Wops, the aptly titled Unorthodox Jukebox presents an unexpected, eclectic mix of musical styles. Working with all-star collaborators including Mark Ronson and Diplo, not to mention longtime partners the Smeezingtons and Bhasker, Jukebox evokes those same songs Mars was covering in bars just a few years ago -- "Billie Jean," "Roxanne," "Purple Rain" -- the kind of songs "that smack you right in the face as soon as you hear them."

"Music is supposed to put you in a mood or make you feel something emotionally," says Bruno in a rare flash of seriousness. "Same reason you go see a movie. I don't have the luxury of characters, like a movie. I can't paint a picture for somebody... I don't have three hours to give you something. I have three-and-a-half minutes to make you feel something. And three-and-a-half minutes to make me feel something."

It's a passion for that unique possibility of the pop song -- to uplift, overwhelm, and console millions through a few minutes of melody -- regardless of whether the lyrics revolve around love or hate, sex or drugs.

Soon enough, however, the solemnity subsides and Bruno Mars returns to his standard state. The fire gives way to the inevitable sweetness, as Mars reaches for a spicy shishito. "Got deep for a second," he grins. "Let me slow down and eat a pepper." Which he does before immediately flagging down that formerly stoic server to order some ice cream. This time she smiles immediately.

Styled by Olivia Purnell

Photos 1 and 3: Cardigan by RRL, shirt by Vince and hat by Borsalino
Photo 2: Shirt by Sidian Ersatz Vanes and hat by Borsalino

Grooming by Jason Schneidman for Solo Artists / Tailoring by Malisa Browman / Fashion coordinator: Kelly Govekar / Photographer's assistant: Lee O'Connor / Stylist's assistant: Christian Salazar / Intern: Kevin Breen

Tonight in NYC: Chris Ware at NYPL + More ...

BOOKS: Chris Ware and Zadie Smith at NYPL
Graphic novelist and illustrator Ware (Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth) discusses his new book Building Stories -- which takes the form of a box containing fourteen different printed objects -- with novelist and critic Smith (On Beauty; Changing My Mind).
New York Public Library Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 455 Fifth Avenue. 7 p.m. $25, tickets available here.

MUSIC: Diarrhea Planet at Death By Audio
Diarrhea Planet and Hunters, both stalwarts of the Brooklyn punk scene (even though D.P. are from Nashville), are picking up attention outside of the borough -- in Hunters' case, thanks to a cover story in last week's Village Voice.
Death By Audio, 49 South 2nd Street, Brooklyn. 8 p.m. $7

GAMES: The Big Quiz Thing at Littlefield
Noah Tarnow's "live game show" celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year. Tonight's "Christmahanukwanzayear Spectacular" includes a $200 prize for the winning team.
Littlefield, 622 Degraw Street, Brooklyn. 7:30 p.m. $10

Morning Funnies: @SeinfeldToday + Snoop Moses

tumblr_m7eaa47U9A1rpf9u3o1_500.png'Memba this? There's a 93% chance it tasted like sugared cardboard. [via Tall Whitney]

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.04.11 PM.pngOh shit. Why you gotta be such wallflowers, Luke and Han? [via The Clearly Dope]

Ick factor 1000 that iTunes actually sells this BUT if they were really savvy, they'd market it with Fifty Shades of Grey on tape and make it a package deal. [via Laughter Key]

tumblr_mettkwIM3u1qanm80o1_500.jpgYour latest fun and festive outfit for that family holiday portrait. [via I'm With Kanye]

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.30.41 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.31.03 PM.pngScreen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.31.25 PM.pngOur new favorite Twitter account @SeinfeldToday, re-imagining Seinfeld plots if the show were on air in 2012. Our favorite so far is Jerry becoming "taxi famous." [via Hyper Vocal]

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.36.15 PM.pngLadies and gentlemen, fasten your seat belts, Jumanji is getting a re-make. [via Uproxx]

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.40.51 PM.pngThe fact that Miley Cyrus cut her hair even shorter is the second or third observation you'd make about this photo says a lot. [via Buzzfeed]

tumblr_meo5hoMWr01rn7bzro1_1280.jpg"Sex Education class (1929)" [via Knusprig Titten Hitler]

Screen shot 2012-12-10 at 6.56.27 PM.pngLindsay Lohan apparently carries entire boxes of Pop Tarts in her purse, people. [via Pop Dust]

tumblr-meu23c5wmh1r0pizwo1-500-612x339.gifHere's a gingerbread man scaring the shit out of Fergie on Ellen. [via Ellen]

Watch Snoop Dogg play Moses in an epic rap battle against Santa. [via Buzzfeed]

Everything But the Girl's Tracey Thorn Has a Lovely New Christmas Video


If you like your holiday tunes to be a little sad and reflective, then you'll really love this new one from Tracey Thorn.  She and her husband Ben Watt -- who co-directed the clip with Edward Bishop -- have put their band Everything But the Girl on hold while they pursue other projects.  "Joy" is from Thorn's fourth solo album, Tinsel and Lights, and it's filled with seasonal music including covers of holiday songs by The White Stripes, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell etc.

Style Scraps: Meggings, the New Thing + Benicio del Toro Carrying A Naked Woman

newPic_5792_jpg_2423016a.jpgHere's a trend we were only sort of aware of (and are very, very weary of): meggings. Men's leggings are now being sold at Barney's, Uniqlo and Nordstrom and are being spotted around NYC. Since it's apparently happening whether we like it or not, a few words of advice: you probably have to have a very good figure to pull them off, and for everyone's well-being, wear snug, supportive underwear. [via Telegraph UK]

...And here's Anderson Cooper on how he will not be wearing meggings anytime soon.

anne-hathaway-tf.jpgAnne Hathaway wore a parachute-y Tom Ford dress to the second Les Misérables premiere last night. The boots, also by Tom Ford, were custom made of faux-leather to adhere to her veganism. We support the move towards faux-leather but aren't 100% sure how we feel about this look. [via The Cut]

o-BENICIO-DEL-TORO-570.jpgBenicio del Toro is holding an unconscious-looking naked lady on the cover of L'Officiel Hommes. Because nude, voiceless women aren't represented enough in men's magazines. [via Huffington Post]

Cameron Russell is our newest girl crush! Watch her TED x MidAtlantic talk wherein she speaks incisively and honestly about modeling. Highlights include her acknowledging that she's onstage because she's a "pretty, white woman," asks young girls to dream of careers above and beyond modeling, and concedes that modeling isn't really a "career path," but is more "akin to winning the Power Ball." We were clapping in our seats. [via Fashionista]

de-la-horyn.jpgOscar de la Renta and Cathy Horyn have ended their beef (sorry, had to). Horyn was invited to go backstage before de la Renta's pre-fall show last night and both report that all is well between them. [via WWD]

chelsea-girls-andre.jpgAndrej Pejic channels Chelsea Girls Edie Sedgwick, Candy Darling, Nico, and Andy Warhol himself in this DuJour spread shot by Tony Kim.

Listen to Bill Cunningham talk about menswear being the "next big thing." Apparently bike messengers were the harbingers of said fashion revolution. [via Towleroad]

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 12.28.39 PM.pngFor its 20th anniversary, Kate Spade is releasing a capsule collection with Keds. We especially like the pink-dipped shoe that reads "Kick up your heels." [via Fashionologie]


Jacob Soboroff Is the Media World's New Favorite Nerd-Hunk

Last year for Halloween Jacob Soboroff dressed as Larry King -- suspenders, grey hair, jutting chin. This year, Soboroff -- a host at The Huffington Post's new web TV venture, HuffPost Live -- interviewed the man himself. "I've got a man crush on you," he told the CNN interviewer. "I'm nerding out. Larry King is here, people!"

At HuffPost Live, Soboroff is both nerd and starlet, a suave on-camera host and a fact-dropping dork who manages to come across as self-effacing and fun -- just what an informal streaming broadcast needs. Looking like a young Ira Glass in as-thick glasses, Soboroff, 29, is both the serious son of former L.A. mayoral candidate Steve Soboroff, and the glam husband of Band of Outsiders' Nicole Cari. He studied at NYU where he mixed a degree in politics with a little acting -- playing George Aaronow in Glengarry Glen Ross. "They obvisly cast me as the nebbishy Jewish guy," he says. Soboroff interned for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, then found himself crisscrossing the country as the on-camera interviewer for the bipartisan organization Why Tuesday?, which seeks to move Election Day to the weekend for greater voter turnout. AMC executives saw those clips and tapped him as their red-carpet version of Ryan Seacrest. "I thought, 'How do I put these two things together: the entertainment business and politics?'"

Founded in August, HuffPost Live streams 12 hours a day, combining traditional hosts, leather sofas and regular interviews with viewer questions from its chatrooms and on-screen videos from those who join via webcam. Without a time limit, hosts banter as they switch between segments -- giving it the casual feel of a podcast.

On air, Soboroff showcases both sides of himself, interviewing the likes of his former boss, Mr. Bloomberg, and improvising a spirited, jig-like dance to fill time between segments. Dancing? On the news? "That's what happens when you're on air 12 hours a day." 

PS1 and Volkswagen to Open Relief Center in the Rockaways

Over the past few weeks, MoMA PS1 director Klaus Biesenbach has been vocal about the need for rebuilding in the storm-damaged Rockaways. Now, after a successful benefit (DJed by Animal Collective and Chromeo) Friday night at Art Basel Miami Beach, Biesenbach has announced the construction of a geodesic dome, similar to the one in PS1's courtyard, on the Queens peninsula. The dome is sponsored by Volkswagen, and will also be a part of the upcoming exhibition Expo 1: New York. According to an e-mail Biesenbach sent out this morning,

the geodesic dome will not only serve as a relief center throughout the winter months

but also provide architects, artists and scientists a platform to discuss how to rebuild

the vulnerable part of new york after the changed climate conditions, 

and provide a meeting point in one of the hardest hit areas in new york.

For more information about the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance, visit their website.

Image of the PS1 performance dome by Jules Antonio on Flickr.