December 2, 2008

The Stache Report

This is not another one of those “Odd facial hair is the hot new thing” blog posts or some ironic hipster moustache glossary. I’ve been tired of that shit for years. But when it comes to style analysis, somehow ESPN Magazine pretty much hit it on the nose with their hilarious, John Madden-ish, don’t-be-a-douchebag tone in this recent piece critiquing the moustache sanctuary that is the NFL. Some key “expert opinions”:

(D) Dave Wannstedt
Seen here in its natural state of “confused grimace”, the Wannie ‘Stache acts as a mirror to his famous frown dimple, which hangs just beneath his lower lip. This hypnotic combination of hair and facial creases creates a vortex that lures owners or athletic directors into continually hiring him, despite his obvious mediocrity.
EXPERT OPINION: “What is that thing on top of his lip? He needs to call the exterminators because it does not belong on a human. Are you sure it’s not a photo of a bulldog?”

(H) Tony Dungy
The Dungy ‘Stache is a throwback to the 70s, a thin stretch of hair that straddles the lip like a caterpillar, yet leaves enough room above his nose to allow Dungy room for nostril exercises. A classic in every sense of the word.
EXPERT OPINION: “He drew that in. It’s not real. Or it’s just starting to come in so he’s using dye. Probably a coach for Detroit. I don’t even know if their coach has a mustache, but it’s got to be Detroit.”

Yeah, most facial hair is decidedly hid. But for whatever odd reason, it’s sticking around. Just ask the iconic moustache in my life, my dad.

I think Obama’s congratulating him on his three-plus decades of dedication to the cause. I’m staying away, but go ahead, try it. Just do your research.

DFW’s Last Work

After the recent tragic death of David Foster Wallace, countless bereaved fans (I amongst the stunned, picked up Infinite Jest, Consider the Lobster, found old essays of his online, poured over past interviews and quotes from friends and family members to hear his singular literary voice again and reconcile ourselves to a future of reading and thinking without him. The loss of DFW really reminded so many of us what we had lost in the author unmatched by any of his generation. And we missed him, his perspective, his humor.

Well, we will have one last chance. Before his death, DFW apparently promised a previous unpublished piece, “An Untitled Chunk,” to Chaffey College, a small community college in California. From the Chaffey Review:

We here at The Chaffey Review literary magazine would first like to extend yet another expression of sympathy towards the entire David Foster Wallace fan community concerning his tragic passing. We do, however, have interesting and potentially exciting news concerning apreviously unpublished Wallace piece. Before his death, Wallace agreed to donate a portion of a larger work (“An Untitled Chunk”) along with first publishing rights, to the students of Chaffey College, allowing us to print it in the first edition of our literary magazine. The magazine is being published this January and is the only available printing of this piece. Our contract with Wallace’s family and agent dictates that we cannot publish any portion of the piece online, nor in any other publication, so this is truly a unique opportunity.

You can find more information about The Chaffey Review at http://www.chaffeyreview.org/.
We request that you pass on this information about Wallace’s piece to the rest of the Davis Foster Wallace fan community in order to promote this final piece of his work.
Thank you very much, The Chaffey Review Literary Magazine

Did Ted Leo Recently Watch 24 Hour Party People?

Judging by the presence of Joy Divison’s “Transmission” and the Kinks’ ultimate singalong “Louie Louie” on the setlist posted on BrooklynVegan, Ted Leo's (and hosted by Andrew W.K.) Indie Rock Karaoke at Brooklyn’s Studio B will definitely be kickin’ a couple choice tracks from Michael Winterbottom’s homage to Tony Wilson/Factory Records. And don’t worry, aside from a full set with the Pharmacists, Ted will probably still be rocking an amazing version of "Since You’ve Been Gone."

Now I just have to amp up my Prince impersonation.

December 1, 2008

Frosty, Meet David Lynch

David Lynch is many things to those of us that love is brand of, um, unsettling images and films, so it comes as no surprise that his latest book of photographs, David Lynch: Snowmen, provides more of the eerily beautiful and seriously fucked up shit he has produced in his beloved movies. This limited edition book brings together Lynch’s series of black and white photographs of melting snowmen from American suburbia. Snowmen has been published on the occasion of The Air is on Fire, an exhibition devoted to the multifaceted visual art creations of David Lynch and presented at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.

As his empire of art continues to expand beyond film and photography into cartoons, coffee, and even apparently geodesic dome design, maybe we’ll see Lynch be even more ubiquitous. Or maybe he’ll just go back to making really creepy PSA’s.

Update: Well, maybe they’re not PSA’s warning against the horrors of litter, but apparently Lynch is going commercial. Gucci just got a lot edgier.

November 19, 2008

Gotta love those Swedes. Love is All's second album, A Hundred Things Keep Me Up At Night combines the group’s pop franticness with a melancholy embrace of loneliness that only Scandinavia can induce. Lead singer Josephine Olausson’s spunk-meets-squeel voice leads us through the chaotic cycle of faux relationships, hookups and that unimitable feeling of being completely alone in a crowd, and leaves us to wonder how we still had so much fun listening to such a downer of a subject. But musically, Love is All is like a sonic upper. With a more refined, purposeful sound than their debut album Nine Times That Same Song, fun twitchy guitars, and some well-timed and much-appreciated sax (like in the excellent track “Floors” above), we couldn’t care less what emotional turmoil we’re in, it’s always a high.

November 11, 2008

bill eggleston

Like I said, I’m a fan of photographer Bill Eggleston. His photos have a timeless quality about them, oddly familiar yet eerily very different from the world around us now. Maybe it’s the southern thing. But as a pioneer in color photography as art along the likes of Diane Arbus and Lee Friedlander, and a master of over-saturated colors and a keen eye for details within details, Eggleston deserves all the attention (praise and hate) that he gets. “Democratic Camera,” his solo show at the Whitney (opened last Friday) is something to behold though. With a few haunting and intimate videos mixed in with decades worth of photos, his first major solo exhibit in New York since 1976 at MOMA is a must-see. Seriously. See it.

tiny sounds

Lad Musician (in Japan, i guess?) seems to only deal with the most adorable in their whimsical jewelry line. From miniature tambourines to a cymbals-drum sticks set, it makes me really want to look up what the exchange rate of Yens-to-dollars is right now… probably not good, right?

to graphics…

Just wanted to take a moment to praise the awesome graphics squad at the NYTimes. From election analysis to science to real estate, they get their shit down in an innovative, informative, and visually stunning way. Word up.

tales of the unexpected.

Most people in fashion mag world seem to get that the European editions of Vogue and others are automatically edgier, artsier, and overall much much cooler than their American counterparts (you know, smaller circ=better taste), but Vogue UK has definitely raised the bar, with a little help from Tim Burton and a band of outsiders (Helena Bonham Carter, Lightspeed Champion, Jamie Bell, etc) to the mainstream fashion world.

Tasked with a Roald Dahl-themed, candy-coated shoot, Burton probably just blew his load since he lives in shades of fantasy anyway. More shots here.

November 7, 2008

timeless.

Mastroianni.

More timeless cool photos, and a handful of quotes from the coolest of the cool here.