“I think that, with hindsight, this may have been a moment in my career where my own past and present truly came together, more so that with other collections, which, however much I cherished them, were a carefully stitched-together tapestry of obsessively researched elements. My Grunge collection was more ‘felt’ than it was thought.”
The 1993 Grunge collection secured Anna Sui’s place in the history of fashion. She saw Seattle’s grunge music scene as the major force in the youth culture of that period, and used the layering and mixing typical of its style to great effect, riffing on the youthful sincerity of the movement to produce some of the most influential looks of the nineties.
Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble, Detail: Polyester and Cotton Tank and Leggings with Totton Kilt and Shorts
Grunge style sprang out of a Seattle subculture in which a new wave of musicians, including Nirvana fronted by Kurt Cobain, sported a “thrift store” style of dressing that seemed to mirror their novel sound. This “un-fashion” style chimed with the decade’s rejection of the excesses of the 1980s and quickly went from subculture to mass culture. Marc Jacobs, working for Perry Ellis at the time, glamorized this style to create a grunge collect for Sping 1993. Sui’s references to grunge in her own collection, in contrast, are colored with optimism and a “hippie” sensibility. The outfit seen here features a kilt, widely associated with grunge, as well as a flower belt more reminiscent of the sixties or seventies
Lunchbox by Designs from the Deep, Cowhide/Rubber Boots by John Fluevog for Anna Sui
Anna Sui Grunge Kilt Ensemble (Spring 1993) Photographed in the Museum of Arts and Design
Poet is the name of a street artist whose work I discovered through his Pink Mail Box series, which is called Love Letters. I started following him on Instagram under the hashtag #poetwastaken and, over the weekend, I went out looking for a few of the works he’s been posting on his feed. This piece, which includes an image of Kurt Cobain alongside a spray painted quote, is located in Freeman’s Alley on the LES.
Once I found the piece in person (and if you’ve seen Freeman’s Alley, you know that’s no easy feat) I was disappointed to discover that the quote had already been pasted over by another artist’s work, even though Poet’s piece had only been up since January 28th. This kind of thing happens so often that Poet said he has learned not to let it bother him. Everything is a work in progress.
Poet, who is based in Los Angeles, told me a bit more about the Cobain piece in a chat via Instagram. “The Kurt Cobain piece was actually initially derived from his quote “Thank you for the trajedy (sic), I need it for my art.” I had spray painted that next to that paste up, but the very next day it was covered by another paste up. This lead me to a add a short and sweet message of “I’m so happy” over Kurt’s image. I’ve been painting that quote for about a year now, and with paste ups only for a few months.”
Watch for more street art by Poet to be featured here in the coming weeks!
UK-based rock quartet Milk Teeth embrace a ferociously energetic Retro Grunge sound coupled with a Modern Metal edge and an adhesive melodicism throughout. And if that description doesn’t pique your interest, you may be dead between the ears. Who can say. Comparisons to Nirvana (which we also saw in this spot just last week) are unavoidable, but there are way worse things a new band could be guilty of than inspiring enthusiastic comparisons to one of the most important and influential bands of the last 25 years. So any haters out here need to shut the fuck up.
A trade off of Melodic vs Aggressive vocal interplay between bassist Becky and guitarist Josh is a compelling highlight of this great clip, which mixes various scenes of the band’s wildly kinetic live shows with snippets of on-tour hang out activities, such as going to the zoo or hula-hooping back stage. Not only do they look like they are amazing live, but they also seem like they would be cool guys to hang out with. Win Win!
Milk Teeth released its latest EP, Sad Sack, earlier this year via Hopeless Records. I can’t imagine that it isn’t excellent. Like them on the FaceBook at This Link Enjoy!
Wow! When was the last time you heard somebody compare a current rock tune to a track from Bob Mould’s 1994 masterpiece, File Under: Easy Listening (recorded with his band Sugar), or an infinitely less dreary version of Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box”? Never? Yeah, probably. And yet, that is what we most want to convey about this week’s featured Video Clip, Creepoid’s “Dried Out,” off the band’s new album Cemetery Highrise Slum (what a great title!), which was just released on Collect Records. And that is high praise indeed.
The band explains that the video “was filmed the day after the last show of our US tour this Spring with A Place To Bury Strangers.” The Mitchell Wojcik-directed clip was shot on location at California’s Salton Sea (an enigmatic place of myth and legend if there ever was one) and features Kurt Heasley of Lilys playing a prominent role.
Maybe we’ve watched too much Breaking Bad, but what we can’t help but think of every time we see footage taking place in an arid, desert-like landscape are those scenes of Walt and Jessie meeting up with Gus and his various malevolent henchmen in a trailer out in the middle of nowhere. Much like those tenuous negotiations, the story told in this video doesn’t end well for anybody involved.
Find Creepoid’s US summer tour dates listed below. Enjoy!
Chris Martin Inducts Peter Gabriel. (Crappy Photos By Gail’s iPad!)
The Class of 2014 entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last night and it was an evening full of magical moments, even for jaded, old-school, Rock Curmudgeon like me. The show went on for over 5 hours – and 90 minutes of that was just the E Street Band members giving their individual ‘Thank You’ speeches! A televised version of the ceremony will air on HBO on May 31st and I’m guessing that, to get it edited down to two hours, they’ll cut out all of the juiciest parts (Courtney Love being booed in front of her dead husband’s family, that was painful to experience). But I got see it all from a comfy seat in the Barclay’s Center. Here are a few moments that stand out.
Listed in the order they occurred:
That Peter Gabriel introductory montage was something else. He’s always been a musical genius (Six Words: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway), but the reminder of how much he’s done in his career was almost jarring. Because, wow. Peter Gabriel is awesome.
Chris Martin’s Induction speech for Gabriel was absolutely hilarious and man, does Martin look happy to be getting divorced.
After talking non-stop shit about each other in press for the past few months (it seems) all four original members of Kiss managed to not be total dicks to each other while accepting their awards (they were the only band to not have any kind of associated performance). I know that Gene thinks that Peter and Ace have no business being inducted along with him and Paul, but if he doesn’t understand that without those two that band would be residing in Nowheresville, he needs to pull his huge, ego-swollen head out of his ass.
I am pretty sure I had seen printed reports that Yusef Islam (FKA Cat Stevens) would not be appearing at the event, so no one was more blown away than me when he not only showed up, looking and sounding great, but also performed three of his classic songs including – wait for it – “Wild World” and “Peace Train”! Holy Effing Ess, “Peace Train.” I can’t even think about that song without losing my shit, so imagine what it was like to hear CAT FUCKING STEVENS perform it flawlessly, live in front of thousands of people. That’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment that you’ll never see again. I still can’t believe it happened, and I was there!
This out of chronological order, but it was so great to see Art Garfunkel induct Stevens. I love that guy.
Linda Ronstadt is an artist whose music I grew up loving back when AM Radio was a thing you listened to. Ronstadt is now retired and no longer travels due to symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease, but many talented ladies of rock were there to pay her tribute including Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris, Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow. Carrie Underwood also performed a stunning version of “Different Drum” (written by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees. Way.) that knocked my socks off. She may have the stage presence of a shoe, but her voice has gotten completely insane since she won American Idol.
I was charmed by Bruce Springsteen’s Induction speech for his longtime musical companions, The E Street Band. They seem like a great family of musicians. Also, Max Weinberg is hot. Also, thank you E Street Band acceptance speeches for providing an excellent opportunity for me to make a much-needed trip to the Ladies Room.
My fondness for the music of Hall and Oates is pretty much restricted to “War Baby Son of Zorro” and, if forced to cite a more recent title, “Method of Modern Love,” on which I enjoy the part where Daryl Hall spells the song’s title. The thing is, despite the fact that songs like “Maneater” and “Sara Smile” serve as very, very effective emetic, their band is one of the tightest live bands I’ve ever seen, and Daryl Hall still ranks among the best voices in rock. I really enjoyed their performance.
I can’t even remember who said in their speech that the “Greatest pop song ever written was Beethoven’s 9th,” but that person was 100% correct.
Joan Jett Performs with Nirvana
Nirvana’s Induction started at 11:45 PM, but it was so worth waiting for, not only to see Joan Jett front the band for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and the surprise performance of “All Apologies” as sung by teen singing sensation, Lorde, but also to hear David Grohl drop the F-Bomb at least four times. He is my new Hero.
Confession: the primary reason I started this Video Clip of the Week series several months back is because I needed an excuse to force myself to write about new music. Pop music has reached an absolute nadir to the point where I’m 1000 times more excited to write about Food these day than I am to even listen to any new band. And that’s just a shame.
So, nobody was more surprised than me to discover a new group comprised of seasoned musicians who, rather than harnessing a retread, have dug deeply into their roots to unearth a vibrant-yet-comfortingly-retro sound. Minor Alps is the collaborative vision of Juliana Hatfield and Paddle Board Mania Matthew Caws; two songwriting-based, music industry veterans who helped to blaze the trail for what became Alternative Rock Music back when Nirvana was still in its infancy. This week’s featured Video Clip is the duo’s “I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands,” the latest single off their debut album, Get There (just released October 29th, 2013 on Barsuk Records).
With a refreshing and understated, artsy video directed by Animator/Musician Clyde Petersen“I Don’t Know What To Do With My Hands” is a remarkably strong track that harkens back to a time before American Idol, Emo and Autotune ruined 99.9% of all pop music. Caws’ guitar playing is as original and compelling as anything on a 90s-era Bob Mould record, while the 20 intervening years since Hatfield fronted The Blake Babies has allowed her vocals to mature into a rich and sweet aural nectar with just enough bite in it to favorably recall The B52s’ Cindy Wilson.
Minor Alps will be on tour across the US during the month of November. Enjoy!
Marilyn Manson Poster By Bruce Pavlow (All Photos By Gail)
Here’s a crazy fun exhibit that Geoffrey and I literally stumbled on during our recent fall season-launch art crawl: Poster Child, a series of new photographic works by Bruce Pavlow.
Culture Club Poster
Viewing Poster Child in the gallery is like walking into an imagined tween or teenagers bedroom. Pavlow has photographed various posters of popular culture icons including bands, pop star pin ups, animals, landscapes and motivational mottos – which the artist asserts have been created by fictitious characters that have enhanced and personalized the images by incorporating ready-made slogan bumper stickers and colorful icon stickers from craft and toy stores.
Boy Band Poster
With the embellishment of these memes and slogans, each poster illustrates a personalized narrative and context, reflecting the thoughts and desires of the fictitious characters as well as the culture at large.
Britney Spears Poster
Sex Pistols Poster
The re-created posters are then photographed (no Photoshop was used) and digitally printed at near actual size on watercolor paper, giving them a photo-realist quality that amplifies the subsequent transformation. The humor, as you can see is quite sardonic and subversive. Check out Poster Child before it closes!
Drug Enhanced Nirvana Poster
Poster Child By Bruce Pavlow will be on Exhibit Through October 12, 2013 at Shoot The Lobster Gallery, Located at 540 West 29th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, New York City.
On this Date, September 24th, in 1991: Nirvana released its sophomore album, Nevermind — a record that was inarguably responsible for bringing alternative rock into the mainstream. Nevermind would enter the Billboard 200 album chart at 144, peaking at Number 1 in January of 1992.
Patti Smith made a name for herself as a pioneer of NYC’s seminal punk scene, most notably as it relates to the birth of the legendary CBGBs rock club on Bowery, and she has continued to evolve through a career that’s lasted over three decades. Along with her original band, The Patti Smith Group (Guitarist/co-songwriter Lenny Kaye, Drummer Jay Dee Daugherty, Bassist/co-songwriter Ivan Kral and Keyboardist Richard Sohl (RIP) – each a phenomenally talented musician and creative force) with whom she recorded her first four albums, and later as a solo artist, Smith is undeniably one of the most unique and influential artists to emerge in the late 70s. As both a versatile artist (poet, musician, author) and an outspoken activist, Patti Smith is a Woman Who Rocks in every sense of the word.
Smith’s impressive music catalog has already been afforded three compilations culled from her studio recordings, but record labels know when the public is ripe for a new offering. With her having recently won multiple awards for her book, Just Kids, Sony Legacy has put together an album to catch the attention of those who may just now be getting hip to Patti Smith, or fans who are ready for rediscovery. Outside Society – the title taken from a lyric in the refrain of Smith’s arguably most powerful and emotionally charged composition (and my personal favorite), “Rock & Roll Nigger” – is an 18 song, single-disc compilation covering Smith’s recordings from her ten studio albums between the years 1975 to 2007. The disc not only includes many of Smith’s “Greatest Hits” – such as her recorded-live version of “Gloria,” her collaboration with Bruce Springsteen, “Because The Night” and the transcendent “Dancing Barefoot” – but it also features an indispensable selection of deep album tracks that casual fans will likely be unfamiliar with. If you are seeking an introduction to Patti Smith or a way to flesh out owning just one or two albums of hers, Outside Society is must own collection.
In addition to always surrounding herself with highly talented musicians and collaborators, Patti Smith has also worked with a cache of rock music’s most accomplished and legendary producers, including Jack Douglas, Jimmy Iovine and Todd Rundgren, who helped to sculpt her sound, allowing her to remain authentic no matter what genre she tackled. From the raw punkinesss of “Gloria” to one of her most polished pop songs, “Frederick,” (one of the many love songs she wrote for her husband, the late Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5) she absolutely owns every performance. Each song on this record, and consider that the styles presented are extremely diverse, sounds amazing and fresh, like it was just recorded.
Patti Smith has covered many rock classics in her storied career – from “Gloria” (a song first made popular by Them as fronted by Van Morrison) to the Byrds’ anthemic “So You Want to Be a Rock & Roll Star” and, most recently, Nirvana’s breakthrough, genre-defining hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” With each interpretation of compositions that many would consider untouchable, Smith makes the song her own with the infusion of her poetry and her inherent ability to tap into the creative essence of each song. Adding further value to an aurally sublime compilation, Outside Society includes Patti’s insightful, autobiographical notes and personal commentary on each track. Her own remembrances of the circumstances surrounding the writing / recording of each track are not only profoundly moving, but often heartbreaking, revealing her to be a woman who has coped with her share of life-changing loss while unfailingly championing individuality and the triumph of the underdog. God Bless Patti Smith.
Remastered by Greg Calbi and Tony Shanahan, Outside Society will be released on Arista/Columbia/Legacy on August 23, 2011 as a single-disc digipak CD and on vinyl as a Double LP set. Track Listing is As Follows: