Vanity Fair Goes Bottoms Up

Is this Vanity Fair cover really necessary? Tom Ford, Kiera Knightley, and Scarlett Johansson look like weird, blue-toned mutants in this photo. They all look like they’ve been Photoshopped within an inch of their lives. Kiera and Scarlett look particularly pasty, and Scarlett’s body looks kinda pear-shaped. And why the hell does Tom Ford get to be guest art director of Vanity Fair? And why the hell does he get to be on the cover? Oh yeah, I’m sure it was because Rachel McAdams backed out…

McAdams must be patting herself on the back for storming out of that photo shoot when she found out Tom Ford’s pervy “vision” was to have everyone pose completely nude. As a woman of 29, she knew better than to bare it all with two questionably talented starlets. She was even so pissed off that she canned her publicist. Do not mess with McAdams–she will f-ck your sh-t UP!

In other gross story from this VF issue, it was reported that Ford insisted that the VF fashion department pull “really grown-up clothes” (aka: skin-baring dresses and platform high heels) for child star Dakota Fanning, currently 12 years old.

Looks like Tom Ford belongs in the offensive misogynistic gay guy club with Issac Mizrahi. I can’t believe Scarlett fell for both their tricks!

tom ford VF

Jane Magazine Gets a Rock ‘n’ Roll Makeover

So there’s been a lot of buzz about the “new” Jane, under the direction of Brandon “Don’t Let the Name Fool You–I’m Not a Man” Holley, who replaced founding editor (and the magazine’s namesake) the legendary Jane Pratt in August of last year. The March 2006 mag is the first issue to reveal Holley’s entire vision for the re-vamped Jane.

The cover has a new fonts, lots of exclamation points, and an emphasis on numbers (Glenda Bailey must be proud). But can someone PLEASE tell me what is up with the FUG-ly picture of Kate Beckinsale (below)? Her eyes look all squinty, her complexion is washed out, and the girl is EATING HER OWN HAIR. (Is that how she stays so thin?) Please PLEASE Jane, do not go along the big ol’ ugly closeup photo route like Allure. It’s just so not flattering on you.

However, there is a bright side for music lovers like me who read the magazine. According to WWD, the new Jane incorporates a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll wherever they can. In a section called “The Rack,” a bunch of rocker girls dress themselves using a selection of clothing found on…yes, you guessed it…a clothing rack. Says Holley, “Music and fashion are really intertwined for this woman. Our girl is a lot like her iPod.” Um…so does that mean Jane girls are slick-looking, cold to the touch, play lots of pirated music, and break down after 8 months? I kid, I kid.

Jane march 2006

Should SPIN Move All Their Eggs to Their Digital Basket?

Has anyone else noticed how beefed up SPIN.com has become over the last year? It’s gone from a sorry excuse of a Web site to a frequently updated spot with web exclusive reviews and articles, videoclips, and mobile content. Granted, you can’t view a page on their site without being attacked by about 5 different upsell ads to the magazine, but I’ve found of late there has been some quality stuff on there. The writing is well-informed, in-depth, and timely.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, has anyone noticed how skimpy ad pages have been for recent issues of the print publication? I have no real solid data to back up what I’m about to say, but it’s almost as if the Web site grown and print magazine growth have had an inverse relationship. Their latest issue is as thin as a communion wafer. They’re starting to make an edition of the New York Press look like the September issue of Vogue. Granted, January is not known to be the high season for ad buys, but there are plenty other music magazines that have managed to pack their magazines with enough pages that there is enough width in the binding to use a font bigger than 8pts.

It makes sense for SPIN to concentrate more on their digital market–many of the bands that they currently highlight get so much coverage online that by the time the print mag comes out, their stories can sometimes read like old news. It’s hard for monthly print publications to keep up nowadays. Usually you’re writing stuff 3 months in advance…it’s hard to forecast what’s going to be hot tomorrow, let alone 16 weeks from now.

I am not by any means saying that SPIN mag should pack up the print shop, but the slim profile of the most recent issues is a bit alarming to me. This also brings up the question of whether people are more likely to pick up a hard copy of a magazine vs. finding their information online. Do you guys have a preference? What do you see as being the value/disadvantages of both mediums?

But back on the dot com–there have been some SPIN.com extras that have left me scratching my head. The recent addition of “Pixel Nation” has been one such project that has made me go “huh?” If you take a look at it, it’s basically The Cobra Snake/Last Night’s Party with of some obsessive compulsive interest in dishing out exactly what everyone is wearing and where they got it from. It’s like if Joan Rivers had an overly positive indie rock daughter who’s gone amok with a digital camera. I almost feel like I’m reading product placement after product placement (He bought this shirt at Brooklyn Industries! She got her shoes from Beacon’s Closet!) when all I want to do is look at pictures of good looking people in peace! No commentary necessary. But why the hell am I looking at party/fashion photos on SPIN.com anyway? What the hell does this have to do with the reason people come to SPIN.com–to read about music? Why the heck is this party section updated more than their music blogs? Who the heck knows?

So basically this post has no point other than print SPIN is getting skinny and Pixel Nation is confusing to me given the brand. Sleepy time.

I Call Bullsh-t On “Pitchfork Effect”

As soon as the ’90s ended, music fans were like, ‘Fuck you!’ Now the young people are taking over and are like, ‘I don’t need you to tell me what to like and not to like anymore!’ Take the choices and give them back to the kids, I say.”

When I read this quote from Drew from Broken Social Scene about Pitchfork, I got so rilled up I started writing this comment:

You would think they’d be able to make their site more readable and get better navigation after all these years. Dear lord, going to their homepage is like getting ADD all of a sudden. Oh, and the reviews are pretentious. I think we’d all be foolish to say that their writers are writing totally impartial reviews. Everything that anyone writes is somehow going to be influenced by the writer’s preception of the world, the band, the people that manage the band, etc. Pitchfork just happens to be in the mindset of “we are probably not going to talk about anything your jock friends from high school or your mom would know about.” I think I’d fall off my chair if they liked something that was actually on the top 40.

On the whole idea that Pitchfork is somehow giving power back to “the kids,” that’s a load of bull crap. It’s the bible of people who are so desperate for an “alternative” opinion to established music authorities like Rolling Stone, but then they just end up having the same exact opinions as the other idiots who definitely know they just don’t want to have a “mainstream” opinion but don’t know how to think for themselves. How is Pitchfork any different than Rolling Stone nowadays? So instead of people finding out about bands from Rolling Stone, they are finding out about them from Pitchfork. What’s the difference between being influenced by a writer from RS who happens to really like mainstream pop music and some writer who only likes bands that no one else has heard of? Just because more people are listening to you doesn’t mean your opinions are right.

Granted, Pitchfork succeeds in talking about bands that aren’t covered in Rolling Stone, but one publication can’t possibly cover all the music that’s out there. It’s simply impossible. Pitchfork is just another outlet for people to learn about music if they haven’t already heard of the bands. It’s simply just more exposure. Don’t you think that one day some other site or magazine is going to come along and replace Pitchfork?

But honestly, the real power of music is the same as it has always been–going out and listening to the music yourself, looking for new bands yourself, discovering what you like–not just going along with what other people think is good. In case no one has noticed, you absolutely do NOT have to like a band that Rolling Stone OR Pitchfork like. It is YOUR CHOICE.

Pitchfork and RS are both the same in that they are just part of the individual conversations that people have when they talk about what they think is good or bad in music. Pitchfork is just a new place kids find the bands about which they will talk endlessly on their blogs, in their homes, on IM, etc. “Ohmigod! Did you see what Pitchfork had to say about Sufjan Steven’s latest EP? It’s a collection of ‘songs’ of him farting! They said it was like the equivalent of having an aural orgasm–they said that you’d have an ‘eargasm’ listening to it because of its sheer melodic brilliance. So great!”

And I suppose for many people, people talking about you and listening to your music just to see if it’s really any good is just as valuable as people actually liking your music. If you don’t like what people are saying about a group that you like, or you want to tell more people about a great act you saw, tell people yourself. Go start your own blog/podcast/whatever. Get on your cellphone, send those emails.

Whatever, man.

The Strokes’s Interplanetary SPIN Cover

Julian as a used car salesman/Florida grandpa, Nick as Steven Tyler, Fab as Mr. Kotter, Albert as…er…drunk Albert (??), and Nikolai as Lucas Haas’s Amish character in Witness. This is the stuff Strokes covers for SPIN are made of…well at least for 2006.

Be sure to check out the February issue (on stands NOW) which features a cover story on the Strokes written by Marc Spitz. Oh, and on the fourth page of the article you can catch me being quoted about how I “can’t keep up with the [music] that’s out there now” (because I’m old and unsavvy) and me being a lifelong fan of the Strokes.

And of course, the boys are playing SNL tomorrow night.

THE STROKES 4 EVA!

The Strokes, February 2006

Oprah Wants to Know if You’re Gay (or Straight) for Heath and Jake

Woah! When did Heath Ledger get a Lindsay Lohan-scale freckle face? Oh and BTW, rumor has it that Heath will be on the cover of Rolling Stone very shortly. Let’s hope he shaves before the photoshoot.

heath ledger gq

heath ledger

BTW, are you totally gay (or totally straight) for Heath or Jake Gyllenhaal? Well Oprah is looking for you! (Hopefully this doesn’t involve any couch jumping.) Oh yeah, read it and weep:

Has Heath Ledger or Jake Gyllenhaal changed or influenced your life? How long have you been a fan? Do your friends and family think you’re obsessed with Heath or Jake? If so, tell us why!

Send your info to Oprah through this form.

Adrienne Curry Poses for Playboy

Ok, something for the guys. “America’s Next Top Model” winner, Adrianne Curry (aka- the chick shacking up with Christopher “Peter Brady” Knight), is featured in the February issue of Playboy. Anyone who’s seen “The Surreal Life” or “My Fair Brady” will not be surprised by her decision to be in Playboy. In fact I’m happy that at least this time there is a reason why she’s naked. Who’s up next Yoanna, Eva, Naima, or Nicole? Although all of those pictures might not be the prettiest.

Adrianne’s got a rockin’ body although her boobs look kinda weird in one of those pictures, and I could do without the nipple tweaking. And hellooooo Photoshop. That cover could almost be an illustration! Head over to the Bastardly for the full set of shots (which are totally NSFW).

Cover after the jump. Sorta NSFW.

UPDATE: Jason just said “forget ‘America’s Next Top Whatever’, then he sent me a link to Jenna Jameson’s new reality Playboy TV show, “American Sex Star.” All I want to know is…what will the challenges be like?
Continue reading “Adrienne Curry Poses for Playboy”

What Would Be the Theme Song for the “L.E.S.” TV Pilot?

They’re young, they’re hip, they’re sexy, and they have to pay the rent…it’s your new favorite show “L.E.S.” and it’s coming to FOX this April!

Ok, none of that is true (yet), but were you just totally laughing your butt off when you read this NY Times article about 126 Rivington like I was? It’s the “true” story of how 126 Rivington is apparently the most swinging “Melrose Place”-like apartment in the city. But all you really need to know is that Piper Perabo lives next door. Helloooo “Coyote Ugly”!

I’m sure some network and/or tv writer is going to make this into the “Central Park West” of 2006. But the real question is would they be required to make a Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or We Are Scientists tune the theme song?

Hong Kong’s Next Top Author?

Elyse Sewell

Um, how psyched am I to learn that everyone’s favorite smart, yet slightly snotty, America’s Next Top Model alumn, Elyse Sewell, is releasing her very own book!?!? It comes out January 19, 2006 on SCMP Book Publishing and it’s going to be based on some of Elyse’s blog postings but also featuring some previously un-blogged material. Sadly the book will only be available in Hong Kong. My Asia-bound friends holla back!

In related news, check out this story about the making of The Shins video for “Saint Simon” (in case you weren’t aware, Elyse goes out with Marty from The Shins). The video features the guys walking through a privately-owned reserve in Mexico that serves as the winter migration home for millions of monarch butterflies. Pretty damn cool.

New York Magazine Thinks Ben Stapelman Will be Famous…and So Do I

Whatever, transit strike. Even you can’t get me down after seeing awesomeness this morning in the form of New York magazine. Sayeth the glossy mag about Ben: “Ben Stapelman, 19, rock singer.
Ben Stapelman’s band, Surefire (imagine early Tom Petty crossed with Coldplay), has built a rabid following on MySpace and now plays sold-out gigs at the Bowery Ballroom.

Hooray! Link from Audrey.