Tag Archive | Pop Culture

Must See Attraction: Seattle’s Experience Music Project

EMP Building Exterior
All Photos By Gail

When I was planning my recent four-day stay in Seattle, one of the attractions I knew I couldn’t miss was the Experience Music Project pop culture Museum. I’ve been curious about visiting the EMP. since it was first in construction, which was about 15 years ago. Originally, it’s my understanding that the museum was being built and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to house his extensive Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collection. But obviously, it’s expanded quite a bit since that original, rather narrow concept.

Space Needle Reflected in EMP Building Exterior
Space Needle Reflected in the Exterior of the EMP

Conveniently located in the Seattle Center, literally in the shadow of the Space Needle, and adjacent to several other top tourist attractions, the EMP is certainly one of the most unusual examples of modern architecture I’ve ever seen. When viewed from the top of the Space Needle, this Frank Gehry-designed structure looks like a Giant took a handful of various boxes of different shapes and colors, and stuck them all together. But this unique approach to modern design has created a fantastic space that provides exhibit halls for not only local music history and an extensive trip down memory lane with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, but separate wings for science fiction, fantasy film and literature, horror movies, and the current temporary exhibit highlighting Women Who Rock. Here are a few photos I took during my visit this past July.

Hendrix Experience in London

Any Jimi Hendrix fan is going to be blown away by the Hendrix Experience Hits London section, which fills several ground floor galleries.

Hendrix Experience Costumes

Not only will you see vintage, authentic stage costumes worn by Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, but the walls of the galleries are plastered with photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, vinyl albums and posters that telegraph the band’s rise to stardom after their initial visit to the UK. All I can say is, it must be nice to be Paul Allen.

Nirvana In Utero Prop

Around the corner from the Hendrix exhibit is an exhaustive documentation of the Nirvana’s impact on the Seattle grunge punk music scene during the 90s. You could easily spend a couple of hours in this section, just reading all about some of the best bands that came from this genre-defining region of the country such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many other Sub Pop signings as well as projects from legendary genre producers such as Jack Endino.

Kurt Cobain Green Sweater

In addition to extensive documentation, Photos, Personal Letters, CD covers, magazine articles, costumes and props, there’s also one of Dave Grohl’s drum kits and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Whoever created this part of the museum did so with a good deal of love.

David Bowie Costume from Labyrinth

Fantasy film enthusiasts will not want to miss the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit where I enjoyed seeing costumes such as those worn by David Bowie in the film Labyrinth as well as many other props and costumes from classic films such as The Hobbit, the Wizard of Oz and Clash of the Titans, to name but a few.

Wizard of Oz Guard Uniform

Captain Kirk Chair and Tribbles
Captain Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair and Tribbles

On another floor there’s an exhibit dedicated to Icons of Science Fiction. Not only are there props and costumes from science-fiction films, but also there are small exhibits on popular books of the genre that laid the foundation for much of the visual media that came in their wake.

Dalek from Dr. Who
Dalek from Dr. Who

Lure of Horror Films Signage

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is also a very fun exhibit. Aside from the expected props and costumes, you can personalize your experience by participating in interactive exhibits including the Scream Booth and Philip Worthington’s interactive shadow monster installation – which is just insane.

Creature from Black Lagoon Mask

Rest your weary feet with time spent in a dozen video kiosks where you can sit in near darkness and watch horror film clips (commentary included) curated by directors Roger Corman, John Landis and Eli Roth. Super fun and also very educational!

Pretenders Kim Gordon EMP
Outfits Worn by Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The museum’s top floor is home to a large interactive studio recording exhibit, where you can actually play instruments and record your own music. It’s also where you’ll find the museums latest exhibit, Women Who Rock, which just opened in June. Women Who Rock does an ambitious job of documenting female artists from the 50s through to present including pioneers such as Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Specter and many of the girl groups through to the punk rock movement, groundbreaking all-female rock groups such as The Runaways and The GoGos and on to superstar solo artists from Madonna to Shakira and, of course Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out just as we were entering this particular exhibit, so the only photos I have are ones I pulled from EMP’s website.

Rihanna Awards Outfit EMP
Rihanna Music Awards Outfit (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The Experience Music Project is a must-see destination for any music and film fan’s trip to the beautiful and vibrant city of Seattle. Exhibits change from time to time so make sure you consult the museum’s website to find out what they have in house during your planned visit.

If Six Was Nine Guitar Sculpture
If Six Was Nine Kinetic Guitar Sculpture

The EMP Museum is located at 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle Center, WA, convenient to the Seattle Center Monorail. Hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Visit This Link for additional exhibit schedule and admission information.

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Happy 10th Birthday, Worleygig.com!

10th Birthday Cake Zebra

Worley Gig Dot Com Celebrates Ten Years of Web Radness Today, June 10th, 2013! While The Gig started out simply as a place to aggregate and archive my laundry list of Rock Star Interviews and other online articles, it has grown through a full decade of web dominance to become one of the most fun and popular Pop Culture websites in the Blogosphere. Just last month we re-launched with a bold new design (we hope you are digging it) and are still in the process of making a few tweaks for your reading enjoyment. Be assured that we will continues to bring you all of the coverage you can possibly stand on Pop Culture, Music, Art, Lifestyle and Pinkness for years to come. While you are reading this, please take a few seconds to Like Us on FaceBook and Thanks for your Readership!

Z!NG Revolution Brand Launch Party and Ultimate Dorm Room Installation!

Zing Logo
All Photos By Gail

When I was a rebellious teenager living at home, the walls of my bedroom were plastered wall to wall, floor to ceiling with posters and photos torn from magazine pages of all of my favorite Rock Stars. I was defined as a person by the music I loved and the Rockers I worshipped, and I wanted everyone who entered my room to know it. Loud and proud! I imagine that kids today feel a similar need for self-expression, but, of course, the hyper-vigilance of marketing companies and the ubiquity of social media, propelled by the overwhelming deluge of pop culture stars, images and brands, makes the practice of tacking a Rock Star pin-up to a wall seem almost quaint and old-fashioned. Oldness!

Zing Skins Behind Desk

A company called Z!NG Revolution (formerly MusicSkins) has harnessed the power of a $150 million dollar vinyl skin industry (Note: Skin = picture of stuff that covers other stuff) that has completely transformed the manner in which people express their individuality. Their slogan, “What does your stuff say about you,” says it all. Indeed: “My stuff says everything!”

Zing Skins On Desk

I found this out when I attended Z!NG Revolution’s fun launch party last night, and got the vibe of what skinning is all about.

Zing Skins Behind Bed

Now you can cover the surface anything you own with images of your favorite musician, actor, cartoon character or TV star. It is pretty cool. And unlike back in the day, when the only way to make posters and photos stick to a wall was with tacks or tape – not very friendly to the wall’s paint job – these vinyl skins stick to any surface thanks to simple static.

Zing Skins On Microwave
Every Dorm Room Needs a Microwave with Snooki’s Face On It

To show off the vast range of their skin products, Z!NG Revolution has also created The Ultimate Dorm Room: a unique Pop Art Installation inspired by Zing’s many images – from colorful iPad and skateboard skins to poster-sized vinyl skins of the most popular faces in pop culture including One Direction, Justin Bieber, Snooki and Taylor Swift (all artists I don’t give a crap about) and also stuff I dig such as contemporary pop artist Ron English (!), TV shows such as Dexter and old school rock icons like The Sex Pistols, Elvis and The Beatles – so, something for everyone!

Zing Party Food 1

There was also some alcohol and good food to nosh on, and the ambiance of relentlessly awesome Rock of The ‘80s tunes spun with great expertise by DJ Raquel Bruno!

DJ Raquel
DJ Raquel Spins “Nowhere Girl” By B Movie. Woo!

Thanks to Workman Entertainment and PR for hosting!

Zing Desk
I’m Not Sure How Many College Students Are Rocking Photos of Justin Bieber on their Desks, But You Get the Idea

Check Out Z!NG Revolution at This Link!

The Ultimate Dorm Room Pop Art Installation (Located in the offices of WE + PR, 118 E 28th Street between Park and Lexington) is also available for viewing, by appointment, until December 20th, 2012 by calling 212-256-0592.

Jason Bryant's Smoke & Mirrors At Porter Contemporary

Facade By Jason Bryant
Facade By Jason Bryant

Sick Kicks, Skate Decks and Old School Hollywood Glamour come together in Jason Bryant’s latest solo exhibit, up now at Porter Contemporary. Smoke and Mirrors is a cohesive exhibition of oil paintings – on unconventional media – through which the artist explores themes of loneliness, vulnerability and frailty.

A Crack in His Faux Fashion By Jason Bryant
A Crack in His Faux Fashion

The exhibit includes beautifully photo-realistically rendered film stills coupled with either his pixilation effects and/or details which appear to be inspired by both Skateboard and Tattoo culture. The juxtaposition of images is very cool and gives Bryant’s work a youthful, Pop Culture appeal while maintaining an air of sophistication. Smoke and Mirrors also includes a selection of custom skateboard decks, which are so hot right now, and custom painted sneakers.

Mirror Mirror By Jason Bryant
Mirror Mirror Painted Sneakers By Jason Bryant

This exhibit is lots of fun and highly recommended. Plus the people who work at Porter Contemporary are super nice, friendly and helpful should you have any questions about the art.

Assorted Skate Decks By Jason Bryant
Assorted Skate Decks

Skate Deck By Jason Bryant
Skate Deck Detail

Smoke and Mirrors by Jason Bryant will be on Exhibit Through October 20th, 2012 at Porter Contemporary, Located at 548 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor (Right Next to Joshua Liner Gallery), New York City. Gallery Hours are Tuesday & Wednesday by Appointment, Thursday 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM and Friday & Saturday 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Smoke & Mirrors By Jason Bryant
Painting Detail

Drinkman: The Walkman Shaped Hip-Flask

Drinkman Walkman Hip Flask
Drink in The Nostalgia

Hey Oldsters, who out there remembers way back when recorded music was first made “portable” through SONY’s invention of the Walkman cassette player? Let me repeat that: Walkman. Cassette. Player. Who knows what any of those words even mean, right? It was so long ago, and you probably weren’t even born yet.

But despite its relegation to the status of antique music listening device, the Walkman’s impressive girth has advantages over micro-thin iPod thingies in that, if you were to transform its shape into a container for alcohol, it would hold enough to get you sloshed.

Drinkman Hip Flask

Enter, Drinkman, the Walkman Shaped Hip-Flask, here to solve all kinds of needs. Created by UK design firm Mustard, (purveyors of fine pop culture-inspired gift items), Drinkman is the ideal hip-flask for those who love a bit of old school cool. Perfect for festivals and nights out, the reusable device holds 5 ounces (150ml) of your favorite boozy concoction.

Drinkman sells for just $12.95 and is available at This Link.

Gail’s 2011 Pop Culture Top Ten List!

Header for Top Ten List in Starburst

Now that we are just a couple of short weeks away from kicking off a spectacular New Year, full of art, music, pink things, bacon and free food, I would like to ask you, Dear Readers, how was your year? I hope it was awesome. As you can see from this Rad Blog you are now reading, I got to do some fun things in 2011, including going on my most fun vacation in many years when my sister and I took a 7 day Caribbean cruise, with three days in New Orleans on the front end. Holy cow, was that ever fun! Such adventuring! Such fine dining! Such ridiculous humidity! I’m still sweating.

What this all means is that it’s time again for the obligatory Year End Top Ten List, so, instead of going with the predictable, rote, yawnfest Top Ten CDs list I’ve decided to do more of a Pop Culture Mixed Bag, if you will. Because that is how I roll. Let’s get started.

PunkFunkRootsRock

Best Album: Manraze, PunkFunkRootsRock. Take guitarist Phil Collen from Def Leppard, team him up with drummer Paul Cook from The Sex Pistols and add Simon Laffy, the bassist from Phil’s former Glam band, Girl (because every power trio needs a bassist), and you’ve got a record that sounds, well, like a raunchier version of Def Leppard! We especially love Phil’s Lemmy impersonation on “Over My Dead Body.” Record of The Year! Read my interview with Paul Cook at This Link.

That’s Me in the Back Row: Third in from the Left

Best Game ShowThe Kostabi Show, where a panel of three Art critics and/or celebrities compete to title the works of modernist painter Mark Kostabi for cash awards, while a jury votes on which title suits the painting best. I had the opportunity to serve as a member of the jury for a taping this past summer and went home with $6 cash more than I had when I arrived, plus a Kostabi coffee table book signed by Mark. Bonus: free pizza! Kostabi, who is an accomplished pianist, also released a swell modern classical CD, The Spectre of Modernism, this year, which has been in heavy rotation on my iPod for ages now.

Dave Depper's Ram Project

Best Beatles Thing: Dave Depper’s Ram Project, an authentically covered version of Paul McCartney’s second solo album complete with off-key Linda-esque backing vocals! So good!

Nick Kent Book Cover

Best Rock Book: Nick Kent’s Apathy For The Devil, a memoir of the British rock critic’s life and career in the 1970s. Everyone knows that all of the best music happened the Seventies , so I will admit that, as both a writer and fan, I certainly would have loved to have lived that life myself, save for the messy heroin addiction part.

Metropolitan Museum Exhibit

Best Fashion-Related Museum Exhibit: Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Four words: Crown of Thorns Headdress. The Savage Beauty Exhibit set all kinds of ridiculous attendance records for the Met and was just insane. Insane!

Chris Connelly CD Cover Art

Best Homage to Eighties Alternative Goth: Chris Connelly’s Artificial Madness. David Bowie Meets Killing Joke plus Bauhaus sautéed lightly with Magazine and a little Ministry on the side. Homage!

Fix The Ministry Movie Poster

Best Rock Documentary: Fix, The Ministry Movie. Kids: Don’t Do Drugs. Or do a lot of them. One or the Other.

Best Seventies Southern Rock: The Sheepdogs, Five Easy Pieces EP. Bonus points to the band for their fan-winning appearance on the most recent season of Project Runway!

Reality TV (Competition): Top Chef, because Celebrity Chefs are the new Rock Stars!

Suckadelic Art Toy Universe

Pop Culture as Art: The Suckadelic Art Toy Universe Retrospective and Pop Up Store at Boo Hooray Gallery (NYC). The judges and critics on the second season of Bravo’s Work Of Art didn’t really dig the SuckLord’s artwork too much, but his parodies of Star Wars toys served up with a serious side of snark made for one of the most subversive, hilarious and memorable art shows of the year! Art!

Honorable Mention: Kasabian’s Velociraptor, MGMT Live at the Guggenheim, The Zombies at City Winery, Single Fare Please Swipe Again at Sloan Fine Art, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark, Jeremy Dower’s Canis Mortuus Familiarus at Bold Hype Gallery, American Horror Story, Maurizio Catellan’s All Retrospective at The Guggenheim, Patti Smith at Webster Hall, The Wyld Olde Souls’ Ensoulment, Jeremy Fish Listen & Learn at Joshua Liner Gallery, Robot Chicken, Tosh.0.

Happy Holidaze and all the best for 2012!

This list previously appeared in a slightly abbreviated form on the East Portland Blog Dot Com.

Pink Thing of The Day: Life Size Barbie’s Dream House

Barbies Dream House Living Room
Image Source

Jesus God, I would so live in this place. This 3,500 square foot house in Malibu, California was designed by “Happy Chic” interior designer Jonathan Adler in March of 2009 for Barbie’s 50th Birthday and was never open to the public. At least we have photos, viewable via the above link, to see what a masterpiece of pink pop culture it truly was. *Sigh*

Thanks for Neatorma for The Tip!

Barbies Dream House Closet