The Moldys Were So F*cking Great! And No One Is Online For Me to Tell!

They were really so fantastic- and the verdict on Adam Green? DEFINITELY A-DORA-F*CKING-BLE! So cute. So Beck meets Julian Casablancas. SO young. So… *sigh.* What a great way to kick off the Thanksgiving weekend!

well now that adam's already on the floor, we might as well just rape him... oops... was that out loud?

ADAM GREEN, I LOVE YOU. MARRY ME.

But the show.. Altogether the show wasn’t bad. I didn’t go to the show on time, so I missed the first 2 opening bands… Squares and something else… uh… I ended up getting to the Mercury Lounge around 10 and came in just as Dufus was taking the stage. They were… interesting…. Then about an hour later, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs took the stage, and they were actually quite good. That lead singer chick was rockin’ it. A little Debbie Harry, a little Cyndi Lauper… all good.

But the Moldys stole the show (and my heart). They came in and did the dance number- I nearly died laughing. It was so cute. Adam was wearing a spiffy new Elvis jumpsuit made by Kimya’s aunt. So fantastic. Just seeing Adam Green jump around and shake his tush wearing a white Elvis jumpsuit w/ rhinestones on it totally made my week. I can’t wait to see the Moldys again at the Vanderbilt. Forget the freaking STROKES- It’s the MOLDYS I want to see! Seeing the Moldys makes me happy to be in this country… and especially in New York!

Why did I keep noticing Adam’s nether-regions? Oh that’s right, because it was at eye level. Yes. Right. Yes. It’s so hot when Adam plays the recorder.

MARRY ME!

The White Stripes Sign to V2 Records

Holy mother of… The White Stripes just signed a 2 album deal with V2 Records here in the US. After reading that article, you sort of feel like it’s The Strokes RCA deal… part 2. Crazy. It seems they’re going to have a lot of control over their work…My favorite part? “The arrangement with Third Man gives Jack, in essence, an A&R and production role with V2, with opportunities for other Detroit acts he has been producing.”

All the best to ’em!

Hey Sarwat, WHO THE F*CK IS STEPHEN MALKMUS?

“I’ve Been Emailing Julian Casablancas” and the Dark Side of Being “The Next Big Thing”

There is a thread on TheStrokes.org called “I’ve been emailing with Julian for Months now…” and it is simply THE FUNNIEST posting I’ve read this month. There is all this complicated IP address listing, and then someone kicks in at the end showing that the IP addresses are coming from a UK address (BT Internet) proving that it really could not be Julian Casablancas emailing this girl. It’s like a Nancy Drew book!

While trying to think of a topic for my final Feature Article piece, I came across this article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

November 18, 2001

BEING CALLED THE NEXT BIG THING CAN BE A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD

The label has been an omen of success for some and a burden for others who couldn’t live up to the expectations that accompany it.

By Jeff Daniel

As a rock ‘n’ roll front man, Stuart Lupton had it all. A head full of jet black hair. A keen sense of mod style. Looks that fell firmly into an enviable territory that borders both handsome and cute.

All of that was on display on the small stage at Cicero’s in the fall of 1996, as Lupton and his band, the New York City fivesome Jonathan Fire Eater, roared through a quick, tight set of original songs that mixed the darkness of modern Goth with the bluesy energy of the early Stones. Lupton, a charismatic sort, even had his own restrained version of the Jagger-swagger. And why not? Jonathan Fire Eater, was the current big buzz of the rock music industry. Having just signed with the Dreamworks label after an intense bidding war, the band seemed destined for a Nirvana-like breakout. They were due. They had been crowned The Next Big Thing. Of course, it never happened.

After the release of one major label album (to mixed critical reviews and lagging sales), Jonathan Fire Eater spontaneously combusted. The band that the Post-Dispatch once proclaimed “the future of rock ‘n’ roll” couldn’t withstand the media hype, the lofty expectations — the pressure of bearing a title that it hadn’t lobbied for. The Next Big Thing now was last year’s news.

Five years removed, Jonathan Fire Eater finds itself garnering a bit of music press once again — as a historical footnote in recent stories about another New York City rock fivesome. This time even critics seemed aware of the perils inherent in the hype. “Remember Jonathan Fire Eater?” some are asking. “Could this band meet a similar fate?”

That band is the Strokes, and when it comes to Mississippi Nights on Wednesday night, the young musicians will hit the stage as the new Next Big Thing. So says the media, from the British music press to American magazines ranging from Penthouse to Newsweek. On a Lexus-Nexis search of major publications, the combination of the phrases “the Strokes” and “next big thing” brought more than 30 hits.

Rolling Stone magazine called their coming out disc titled “Is This It?” — released on RCA after the requisite major label feeding frenzy — “the stuff of which legends are made.” The band is selling out shows. “Is This It?” debuted at an impressive No. 76 on the Billboard charts. Most critics rave.

But the Strokes will soon learn that the very sword used to knight them has a double edge. With adoration comes skepticism. With reverential hype comes the inevitable backlash. With sky-high expectations comes the potential for a monumental free-fall. Just ask Jonathan Fire Eater, or the seemingly endless stream of rock and pop bands destined to blow up — an industry term for making it big — who instead found themselves acting out the more traditional definition of that phrase. Sigue Sigue Sputnik. London Suede. Veruca Salt. All were set to conquer. All disintegrated or quietly faded away after a brief splash.

But failures never seem to hinder the hunt for that Next Big Thing, a pursuit that goes well beyond music and the need for new rock stars. Hollywood has its own Jonathan Fire Eaters, as does literature, politics and television. The fashion industry is essentially nonexistent without its trend-setting and star-making bulwarks. Yet despite a poor batting average, the quest for hits continues undaunted.

Perhaps that is due to the fact that for every batch of Del Fuegos – remember that Boston roots-rock band who parlayed a Miller beer commercial into a fleeting Next Big Thing moment? – there is an enduring Sade. For every two or three Jan Michael Vincents, a substance-abusing wreck-of-a-man once touted as the young actor to watch, there is a Sean Penn. For every slew of Brett Easton Ellis types, a David Foster Wallace emerges and outlasts the hype machine.

Without a doubt, the greatest impetus for those continuing the Next Big Thing quest would have to be Bruce Springsteen. Now known as the Boss, Springsteen was far from that in 1974, although his first two albums had established his position as a Jersey-shore Dylan with a hard-core cult following.

In 1975, all of that would change as the music press began to buzz about “Born to Run,” the new Springsteen album that featured an expanded sound that had the potential for wider appeal. The music press hubbub quickly saturated the national media, with the end result being Springsteen’s face plastered on the covers of both Time and Newsweek. Here was the Next Big Thing, the forgers of national opinion declared. A quarter century and millions of records sold later, it’s hard to disagree with their proclamation. (And we can still thank our lucky stars that they didn’t choose Southside Johnny.)

The Springsteen example, of course, is now a case study in how a chosen one absorbs the spotlight’s glare, and, like a flower undergoing photosynthesis, uses the light as a means to blossom. Just as often the opposite is true – the heat causes those in the spotlight to wilt.

The list of wilters is long, ranging from such overhyped failures as film comedian Yahoo Serious to such overhyped forgettables as television talk show host Gordon Elliot (both Aussies, by the way). A kind of antithesis of the Springsteen success story involves the tale of Marisa Berenson, a former model tagged for a leading role in Stanley Kubrick’s 1974 film “Barry Lyndon.” Berenson got more ink than a tattooed Hell’s Angel, the hype machine working in overdrive. She was the new It girl, the new Next Big Thing. Needless to say, Berenson hardly met the expectations. Like Jonathan Fire Eater, she is now a footnote; in this case, as the star of the great Kubrick’s least-viewed major release.

Still, a full-fledged flame-out such as the one experienced by Berenson or Yahoo Serious isn’t exactly the norm. Instead, the more likely course for a failed Next Big Thing is a kind of slow, smoldering, fade away, akin to a once roaring campfire reduced to a pile of barely hot ashes. Or better yet, akin to the career of Matthew McConaughey, the young actor whose brief but memorable roles in “Lone Star” and “Dazed and Confused” left him with TNBT branded on his well-toned biceps. But the media buzz faded after a few years, years that included some bad film choices and some low box office totals. A dozen new Matthew McConaugheys have come and gone along the way. The original, no longer next and no longer big, now does his best to keep from being just another “thing.”

Which might be a little tough for McConaughey, for he surely remembers the heady days of his praises being sung in the loudest of voices (its a chorus that actress Julia Ormond, director Harmony Korine and singer Lisa Loeb, among others, must also miss). McConaughy, as his balloon was being inflated, had even appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine, a virtual clearinghouse of Next Big Things. It is the cover where you saw Matt Damon and Charlize Theron and Josh Hartnett during their ascendancy. Vanity Fair captures the Next Big Thing buzz, nurtures it, fattens it up – then releases it to stamp through America like a very chic and beautiful Godzilla. Sometimes the method works, sometimes not.

Ryan Adams hasn’t made that cover yet – but he has been close. In the magazine’s recent music issue, the young singer-writer appeared in a color spread with a few of his peers. Adams, who recently canceled two St. Louis concerts at Mississippi Nights (he has rescheduled at the Blue Note in Columbia), has the looks and the talent to get some buzz going. That’s certainly the case these days.

Like the Strokes, Adams is a Next Big Thing, a figure touted as a savior of rock ‘n’ roll. He is following the proper path, to be sure. A recent profile in The New York Times Magazine. An appearance as the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.” An upcoming slot on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” Add to this a slew of press clippings from newspapers and magazines from across the country.

But also like the Strokes, Adams seems fully aware of the double-edged sword that he has been forced to handle. In interviews, both the band and the singer have acknowledged the fact that buzz can lead to a fatal sting, that hype can lead to ground swell of bad will soon after it leads to a major recording contract. They seemed to have learned from the mistakes of those who’ve gone before them.

In fact, Adams seems to have learned quite a bit: His critically acclaimed new release, “Gold,” features the musician standing in front of an American flag on its cover, an admitted homage to Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” Not quite “Born to Run,” but close enough. One of the rock world’s Next Big Things taking a cue from perhaps the most successful one ever.

Unlike Jonathan Fire Eater, Adams appears to have discovered the Boss’ secret of basking in the spotlight without getting burned. For a Next Big Thing, where flame-out is a distinct possibility, such fireproofing may be as valuable as any combination of talent and looks.

Phone: 314-340-8399

Who Wants to Work for Plum Sykes?

I didn’t get the memo. According to The New York Times Mondays are the new Thursdays. That’s it- next semester I’m making Wednesdays the new Mondays.

Today in French class, we had to make up an imaginary French holiday to write back to our American friend who wrote about Thanksgiving. I made up “Parisienuvus.” It’s a holiday that occurs on 1 December every year. The Parisiens dress all in black, smoke cigarrettes all day long at the cafe as they sip coffee. How is this different than any other day in Paris, you may ask? Well, on Parisienuvus they also hit Americans with baguettes. Repeatedly… and effectively. It’s kind of like when you have a pinata at your birthday party- same idea.

As sad as it might seem, Toby Young still amuses me.

My professor just e-mailed me with a forward for a job description to work for Plum Sykes. I’m laughing so hard I don’t know what to do. In the body of the text, there is an address, which I believe to be Plum’s actual HOME address… and then her e-mail address. I’m really tempted to apply. It would just be too hilarious.

But after working at several fashion-heavy publications and just hearing about Conde Nasty from other interns and in the gossips I’m leery to become a part of that whole fashion scene again. I’ve been there. Done that. And god, are those people shallow and vacuous! All about the parties and the free gifts and the yadda yadda yadda.

And Plum Sykes! Dear lord. Just the idea of having to work with one of the most well-known fashion socialites is enough to make me vomit. It’d be intense. I’ll sleep on it. Maybe I could be the next Toby Young!

You’ve Lived In London Too Long When…

In case you didn’t realize, it is officially “Laura Wishes She Was in Europe” week. Ben went off with the band to do an abbreviated European tour, the White Stripes just played the Astoria last night, dear Jen was talking about how she’d like to see Travis in London or Glasgow in March and both Jen and Amanda were on about how their getting out of this god forsaken country and going overseas next semester to study abroad in London. It’s not fair. I want to go.

I really need to get myself home. I miss everyone.

Look what I nicked off of Rob in London (can you tell this London fixation is getting bad?):

HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN IN LONDON TOO LONG?
– You say “the City” and expect everyone to know which one.
– You have never been to The Tower or Madame Tussauds but love Brighton.
– You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Shepherds Bush to Elephant & Castle at 3:30 on the Friday before a long weekend, but can’t find Dorset on a map.
– Hookers and the homeless are invisible.
– You step over people who collapse on the Tube (or in our the case, you DO collapse on the tube)
– You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multilingual.
– You’ve considered stabbing someone.
– Your door has more than three locks.
– You consider eye contact an act of overt aggression.
– You call an 8′ x 10′ plot of patchy grass a garden.
– You consider Essex the “countryside”. You think Hyde Park is “nature”.
– You’re paying 1,200 a month for a studio the size of a walk-in wardrobe and you think it’s a “bargain”.
– Shopping in suburban supermarkets and shopping malls gives you a severe attack of agoraphobia.
– You pay more each month to park your car than most people in the UK pay in rent.
– You haven’t seen more than twelve stars in the night sky since you went camping as a kid.
– You haven’t heard the sound of true absolute silence since you left home, and when you did, it terrified you.
– You pay 3 pounds without blinking for a beer that cost the bar 28p.
– You actually take fashion seriously.
– Being truly alone makes you nervous.
– You have 27 different menus next to your telephone.
– The UK west of Heathrow is still theoretical to you.
– You’re suspicious of strangers who are actually nice to you.
– You haven’t cooked a meal since helping mum the last Christmas you were at home with the turkey.
– Your idea of personal space is no one actually standing on your toes.
– 50 pounds worth of groceries fit in one plastic bag.
– You have a minimum of five “worst cab ride ever” stories.
– You don’t hear sirens anymore.
– You’ve mentally blocked out all thoughts of the city’s air quality and what it’s doing to your lungs.
– You live in a building with a larger population than most towns.
– Your cleaner is Russian, your grocer is Somali, your deli man is Israeli, your landlord is Italian, your laundry guy is Philippino, your bartender is Australian, your favourite diner owner is Greek, the watch seller on your corner is Senegalese, your last cabbie was Pakistani, your newsagent is Indian and your favourite falafel guy is Egyptian.
– You wouldn’t want to live anywhere else until you get married.