Thursday, January 29, 2009

NYC's '21 Club' Isn't the Only Legendary Institution Loosening Its Tie Policy...

according to the International Herald Tribune, Obama has overturned his predecessors' mandate that men must sport a coat and tie when in the Oval Office.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Barack Gives His Best Single Lady

Vibe has video from the pre-Inauguration Day celebrations courtesy of John Legend. About 6 and a 1/2 minutes in, upon greeting Beyonce...

Michelle Obama says, "Mr. President, you didn’t tell Beyonce about 'Single Ladies'? Your rendition?"

"I'm not like Justin [Timberlake]” Obama says laughing, referring to Timberlake’s spoof of the video on Saturday Night Live. “I didn't put on the outfit. ...[But] I didn't want my girls thinking that I couldn't, you know...I got a lil something."

He then does the infamous hand flip.

Photog Michael Lavine On Kurt & Courtney, Love

Photographer Michael Lanvine has snapped countless mega-celebrities, as well as a slew of grunge era bands (from Sonic Youth and Soundgarden, to the Flaming Lips). In a recent interview with Feature Shoot, Lanvine discusses both his recent professional reinvention, as well as the story behind the Kurt & Courtney portrait pictured above. Of the latter, he says:

We shot the photos at my Bleeker St loft on the Bowery. I remember that my friends Andrea Linett and Janet Billig were there. I remember the ridiculous twelve foot silk lighting setup I used. I remember people having to go out and score dope. I remember Kurt telling me that the reason that he loved Courtney so much was that she was the only girl he knew that would stand up at a party and smash a glass table to bits just for the hell of it. I remember thinking that was a pretty odd reason to love someone.

[via Cool Hunting]

T.I. Has New Reality Show, Gives Impromptu Striptease

The Las Vegas Sun has a great story on rapper T.I. today. It follows the rapper's journey on a self-proclaimed 'road to redemption' (also the title of his not-yet-released reality show, "T.I.'s Road to Redemption: 45 Days to Go,” which "will chronicle his last days of freedom and attempts to prevent young people from making similar mistakes"). Just a few weeks shy of being sent to jail for 366 days, the article finds the rapper giving an impromptu peep-show at a performance at Jet's 3-year anniversary. The scene is perfectly encapsulated by the following:

During the show, he expressed his desire to make love, not war.

Lots and lots of love.

After thanking the capacity crowd for their support, he spoke directly to the ladies in the house and told them that he’d like to take each and every one of them back to his hotel room.

While that didn’t happen, the hip-hop heavyweight still managed to give the crowd a taste of what they were missing. One by one, he removed articles of clothing until he was left wearing little more than his red and white-striped boxer shorts and a big smile.

Naturally, he wasn’t the only one who was smiling. The female fans in the front row went wild for the stripped-down star, grabbing at the not-quite tamper-resistant shorts that loosely hung from his hips.

The immodest performer didn’t seem to mind giving the impromptu peepshow. In fact, he seemed to enjoy the opportunity to give his grabby admirers a little more, uh, bang for their buck.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Joaquin Phoenix Debuts MC Skills In Vegas

Actor-turned-rapper Joaquin Phoenix's premiere live performance at Lavo in Las Vegas on Friday sadly seemed to foreshadow the fate of the former thespian's musical career. (Diddy has signed on to produce Phoenix's first album, while Casey Affleck will be playing director, documenting the crossover attempt, which, I'm sorry to say, gives me the creeps.)

First the build-up...

Then the fall...

There are no words.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Want to get sworn in on Inauguration Day just like Barack Obama? Here's how.

Antony To Debut Artwork In London

Antony of Antony and the Johnsons and Hercules and Love Affair fame (he recorded the vocals on the latter's debut LP) is slated to showcase his artwork for the first time in London later this month. Entitled The Creek, the exhibit will be housed at Isis Gallery as of January 17th. Of the show, Isis has the following to say:

Antony's artworks open up dream landscapes: often fragmentary in appearance, these images map his dreams and liminal states; polymorphic realms give way to indicated spirits; pen marks and scratches conjure archetypes and invite conscious and unconscious visions to emerge.

The primary elements go through many stages - drawn on, burned, soaked in the rain, thrown away and reclaimed, drawn on again, stained or dried over a fire. These are then arranged and photographed. The intimacy of this unique gallery space then heightens the focus and clarity of these private spells. Recalling the notebooks of William S. Burroughs and Antonin Artaud, Antony's works describe the arc of a dream atlas in which each diverse aspect is unified through the desire for healing.

For his work in this exhibition, Antony has collaborated with performance artist Johanna Constantine, model Dr. Julia Yasuda Ph.D, photographer Don Felix Cervantes, and artistic advisor Joie Iacono.

Monday, January 5, 2009

The Lifespan Of Limerance

"Scientists have discovered true love," says The Times. After scanning the brains of a slew of couples married for 20 years or more, scientists from Stony Brook in New York discovered that an average of 1 in 10 of those couples exhibited the same lovestruck sensations when shown pictures of their significant others as brand new couples in love. In the past it was believed that after 15 months the initial effects of limerance (aka: true love) would fade, and that after 10 years remnants of the haze were gone for good. But, now, hopeless romantics have scientific proof that true love can withstand the test of time. In perhaps the most heart-warming part of the piece, The Times claims: "The researchers nicknamed the[se] couples 'swans' because they have similar mental 'love maps' to animals that mate for life such as swans, voles and gray foxes." Also, adding a nice twist to the story, is that two of the 'swan' couples in question are none other than former British PM Tony Blair and his wife, Cherie, and actor Michael Caine and his wife, Sharika.

A Letter From Your Coolest Friend

The latest addition to my list of 'must buy' art/fashion rags is nomenus quarterly. Its new issue features such art world heavyweights as Alec Soth, Elizabeth Payton and the recently retired Metropolitan Museum curator, Phillip de Montebello (which reminds me I still haven't seen what I've heard is a sensational retrospective of his acquisitions during his three decades spent at the museum, currently on view at the Met thru February 1st). Also included in nomenus quarterly's latest issue: a conversation with fashion maven Sally Singer at her home in the Hotel Chelsea. Singer, Vogue's fashion and features editor, is a personal favorite and a true icon. And her musings on the magazine industry and the importance of fashion are an essential read (thankfully, the interview is available in full on the magazine's website).

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Meet Nico...

a noteworthy, relatively new magazine from Luxembourg. Now in its third issue (the first debuted in the summer of 2007), this biannual, bilingual fashion rag is well worth picking up if you're lucky enough to spot it at your local newsstand. Nico's website offers a look inside all three issues. But, while you can peruse the striking layout (nice, full-page photos and easy-on-the-eyes spreads), and well-executed fashion editorials (including a pretty provocative flesh-friendly spread complete with peacock feathers pictured below and in the second issue) via the website; unfortunately, the pages are pictured too small to allow interviews to be read online. The publication, which borrows its name from the Velvet Underground frontwoman and fashion icon, is one of seven from Luxembourg-based publisher, Mike Koedinger.

A Taste Of The Genius That Is Zach G

Friday, January 2, 2009

UC Med School Talent Show

Much respect to the Class of '09 University of Cincinnati Medical students who choreographed half a dozen dance routines for the school's annual talent show. There are roller skates, ribbon dancers and even a few moves borrowed from Beyoncé. Give yourself some time to watch this one, as I promise all 8 minutes are well worth sitting through.

Alisa Gould-Simon is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn.