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Jon Saemundur Audarson: He Who Fears Death Cannot Fully Enjoy Life
07.15.2009
10:41 pm

Topics:
Art

Tags:
Music


Last year I had the pleasure of meeting Jon Saemundur Audarson: in Reykjavik, Iceland (after the economy collapsed, but before the government did). Jon runs a clothing line called DEAD out of his storefront and studio tucked just off Laugavegur, Reykjavik’s main drag. His clothing line is great stuff, often featuring his logo?a skull surrounded by the mantra “He who fears death cannot fully enjoy life” in one of several languages. I bought one in Sanskrit. He just opened a storefront in New York, as well, and his clothing has popped up in the least likely of places on Quentin Tarantino, for instance, who is a fan. Check out this Dazed Digital profile of him, and his MySpace, which is loaded down with his music as well he has recorded with the likes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, and performed at the Glastonbury Festival.

Diagnosed with HIV in 1994, Audarson has become furiously prolific. His studio, which he graciously gave me a tour of, is something like a Tibetan lama’s temple crossed with the coolest punk you know’s jam space. It’s littered with skulls, ravens and copious reproductions of Jon’s logo, which he considers a “thought virus” which he wants to seed the world with, even going so far as to consider worldwide hot-air balloon trips flashing the logo.

Check him out in the above video performing “Golden - Frost” with the Brian Jonestown Massacre, which he contributed to their recent My Bloody Underground album. His screed against hypocrisy and greed is in Icelandic, but the message comes across clear in any language.

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
When Andy Warhol Died
07.15.2009
09:00 pm

Topics:
History

Tags:
Andy Warhol

image I remember vividly when this cover story from New York magazine originally appeared just three weeks after Andy Warhol died. As a New Yorker myself at the time, it truly felt like it was the end of an era and this article really brought the point home for me. I kept it for years and for all I know, it may still be sitting out in the garage.

After Warhol died, New York’s fabled nightlife took a nosedive (there were other factors, too, of course, like AIDS). It wasn’t like you’d be able to see Warhol at a party, a fashion show, a night club or a restaurant ever again and think to yourself “Oh, Andy’s here. I must be in the very best party in the world tonight.” That was what Warhol’s stamp of approval meant to New Yorkers. His presence made you feel cool. I met Warhol several times. When I’d tell people I was going to move to New York City, they’d ask me what my plans were and I’d say “Oh, you know, meet Andy Warhol, hang out at the Factory and something cool is bound to happen.” I actually believed this as an 18-year old!

And as fate would have it, on the very first night I spent in New York, at an opening party at the Area nightclub, the infamous homicidal club kid king, Michael Alig asked me if I’d like to meet Warhol. “Sure!” I replied and Michael proceeded to shove me—HARD—into the artist, nearly knocking him down. Warhol just shrugged it off and blamed Michael anyway as he’d seen the whole thing go down.  After that incident, I’d run into Warhol every few weeks and I’d see him (usually with Cornelia Guest) often at Limelight, the nightclub where I was working. But when he died so suddenly, I can’t stress this enough, it was like a pall had come over the city. It was a real turning point, for me anyway and New York would just never be quite the same ever again.

The first sign that there was something wrong with Andy Warhol, that he might be a mortal being after all, came three weeks ago. It was a Friday night, and after dinner with friends at Nippon, he was planning to see Outrageous Fortune, eat exactly three bites of a hot-fudge sundae at Serendipity, buy the newspapers, and go to bed. At dinner, though, he felt a pain. It was a sharp, bad pain, and rather than let anyone see him suffer, he excused himself. And as soon as he got home, the pain went away.

“I’m sorry I said I had to go home,” Warhol told Pat Hackett a few days later as he narrated his daily diary entry to her over the phone. “I should have gone to the movie, and no one would ever have known.”

In fact, no one remembered. And if anyone suspected trouble, it was dispelled the next week by Warhol’s ebullient spirits at the Valentine’s dinner for 30 friends that he held at Texarkana with Paige Powell, the young woman who was advertising director of Interview magazine by day and Warhol’s favorite date by night. Calvin Klein had sent him a dozen or so bottles of Obsession, and before Warhol set them out as party favors for the women, he drew hearts on them and signed his name. On one for ballerina Heather Watts he went further, inscribing the word the public never associates with Andy Warhol: “Love.”

The World of Warhol by Jesse Kornbluth, from the March 9, 1987 issue of New York Magazine.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Paper dress made from phone book
07.15.2009
11:04 am

Topics:
Art
Fashion

Tags:
Fashion

image

 

Three cheers to Jolis Paons for designing this absolutely beautiful and clever paper dress. Jolis says:

For my Creative Processes class I designed and made this paper dress purely out of phone book paper! I pleated, stuck, sewed, and glued everything by hand.

Thanks to David for assistance/singing alongness.

Paper dress by Jolis Paons

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Renato Zero: Italian Megastar!
07.15.2009
09:47 am

Topics:
Music

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Renato Zero

Despite the fact that his albums sit atop the Italian pop charts for half a year, every year and go platinum five times over, outside of Italy, few have heard of camp superstar Renato Zero. In some respects, Zero could be said to be the inventor of glam rock. He was, you know, just being himself long before Bolan or Bowie ever put on eyeliner or platform heels. He even had a punk name long before Sid Vicious or Johnny Rotten!

So flamboyant that he makes Freddie Mercury (or even Jobriath Boone) seem positively macho, Zero has steadfastly refused to either confirm or deny that he is gay (as if there would be much doubt?) throughout his now five decade long career. Often called “The Emperor of Rome,” he’s still a huge star today, performing spectacular concerts that would make Madonna jealous. Ladies and gentlemen, take a look at pioneering Italian mega-performer, Renato Zero!

1977 performance of “Mi Vendo.” This was my own introduction to Zero and it was a startling one, I think you’ll agree:


Renato Zero performing “Triangolo” in 1978 and rocking an outfit to die for!


Live, rather elaborate performance of Prendimi

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
AMERICA JUXTAPOSED, OR…WHAT’S YOUR BACCHANAL?
07.15.2009
09:30 am

Topics:
Unorthodox

Tags:
Heroes
Religion
Kooks

Responses to the Pentecostal jibber-jabberings of preacher and plagiarist Kenneth Hagin typically range from snickers to eye-rolling, but cast aside (out?) your preconceptions for a moment.  Strip away the possible, okay, PROBABLE cynicism lurking behind Hagin’s curtain, and what are we left with?  A group of people in a room HUNGRY FOR A WAY OUT—transcendence, beyond the limitations of mind, flesh, or state.  Seen in this (admittedly stripped-down) light, how much do Hagin’s communal fumblings towards ecstasy really differ from those of, say, Beck and Malina’s 60s-era Living Theatre?


Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Obscure 80s German duo sing ‘Tippen Ein’
07.14.2009
02:16 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Kooks
Music

Tags:
Music
Videos

 
I couldn’t find much information on German group New Production Goes to Munich’s 1987 hit “Tippen Ein.”  But, for all you Tim and Eric fans out there, I think you’ll really love this twisted synthpop masterpiece. Genius.

Here’s a link to a live version of “Tippen Ein”

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Richard Metzger’s Tell It Like It Is Review of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
07.14.2009
01:54 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
Harry Potter

image Well, there is simply no beating around the bush about this one. No mitigating factors. Nope, none. The new Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is absolutely fucking terrible. Not a disaster, just a total bore, which is worse. Please don’t shoot the messenger, I sincerely expected to like it, but man oh man does it suck. It’s mind-numbingly bad. The pacing is all wrong. It felt like we were in that theater for about seventeen hours.  My wife hated it even more than I did.

After a fantastically conceived opening sequence (one of the finest I’ve ever seen, brilliantly executed) my first thought for this review was “Harry Potter franchise kicks it up a notch! Or two!” I was fantasizing about my blurby superlatives showing up on movie posters, but… sadly t’was not to be. After the first ten minutes the film quickly dropped off in energy and intelligence. After 30 minutes, the suckiness picked up speed. Much of the script made no sense. Some—like all the villains—characters’ actions seem to have no motivation whatsoever. Aside from one or two action-oriented scenes (the Quidditch matches were remarkable), it was an absolute snoozefest.

Looks great, same great cast, all the right ingredients, I grant you that, but I will say it again: The new Harry Potter movie is godawful.

I know what you’re thinking. Your kids will still love it. Guess again. Your kids will hate it and get restless after 30 minutes. So will you. No one would love it unless the studio was paying them to love it. I don’t think the people who worked on it or acted in it love it. No one would like this movie. It’s shite. The word of mouth will be horrible.

If you read this far and you still plan to see “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”... as you are sitting there watching one of the worst big budget films in recent memory, a total piece of shit, remember this review and don’t say I didn’t warn you. Because I did.

And if you want to know how I really feel…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cliff Muskiet’s World of Stewardess Uniforms
07.14.2009
01:46 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Fashion

Tags:
Fashion
Uniforms

image

 

Here’s a fantastic website dedicated to the most awesome collection of stewardess uniforms ever.  Website owner, Cliff Muskiet says:

Ever since my early childhood, I have been interested and fascinated by the world of aviation. I used to collect everything that wore an airline name or logo, such as posters, postcards, stickers, timetables, safety cards and airplane models.

Sometime in 1980 I was given my first uniform by one of my mother’s friends. I was so excited and I wanted to have more uniforms. In 1982 I heard that two charter airlines were introducing new uniforms. I wasted no time, I called these airlines and as a result I was invited to pick up a set of old uniforms. Between 1982 and 1993 I didn’t do much to obtain any more uniforms, something I really regret now as I could have had many many more! Most of my uniforms were obtained between 1993 and today. At the moment my collection contains more than 800 different uniforms from various airlines worldwide.

www.uniformfreak.com

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
JACK HEARTS SAWYER…I MEAN REALLY HEARTS HIM!!
07.14.2009
12:24 pm

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
Pop Culture
Heroes
Sex

LOST Season 5 might have gone out with its usual bang, but that doesn’t mean the summer ahead can’t still be long and hot.  When you’re done combing through Lostpedia’s The Incident theory page (it’s endless, I know), you might want to dip a toe, or something, into the wacky alt waters of Lost slash (fan) fiction.  A 3-way between Ben, Locke and Richard…sure, why not?  Desmond choosing Sayid over Penny…yeah, I can see that!  What I find fascinating about these HIGHLY detailed reconfigurings, of course, is not the nature of the participants or their transgressions, but how they expose that nagging, near-universal hunger to see our hopes, dreams, fantasies—whatever they may be—projected through the prism of popular culture.  Then again, maybe there’s just a LOT of people out there who wanna see Jack and Sawyer feeding each other mangos!

 

Lost Slash Fiction

Lost Slash Fiction (XXX)

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Luke Haines: Bad Vibes
07.14.2009
12:00 pm

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Art

I may be the last person to find out about this, but since I’m American, it’s OK: Luke Haines, the greatest British songwriter of the 1990s, has released a book detailing his bitter memories of the Britpop years and being completely ignored by the public at large. Entitled “Bad Vibes: Britpop and My Part in Its Downfall,” the book was released in the UK in February. So far no release in the US, nor is there likely to be, ever, so suck it up and pay the postage.

Haines, who laid down the template that Blur and Pulp would later capitalize on with his band The Auteurs, went on to record such gems of human potential as concept albums about the Baader-Meinhof gang and Oliver Twist, recording under his own name and also with “supergroup” Black Box Recorder.

For those who have never been exposed to the man, try any of his albums, ever: they’re all essential. While Blur were writing about middle-class boredom, Haines was writing one-man nostalgia trips through the lost, forgotten and seamy sides of English history, like a snarling pop version of Peter Ackroyd. Try it, you’ll like it.

The Auteurs: Rubettes music video

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
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