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!
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!”
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.
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.
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!
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 Spins “Nowhere Girl” By B Movie. Woo!
Thanks to Workman Entertainment and PR for hosting!
I’m Not Sure How Many College Students Are Rocking Photos of Justin Bieber on their Desks, But You Get the Idea
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.
If you’re passionate about music and appreciate a photograph’s ability to tell a story beyond words, you will have a field day checking out the archives of rock photography on sale at Rock Paper Photo. Whether you dig modern pop stars like Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber or go for the classic rockers like Led Zeppelin, The Stones, Bowie and The Beatles, you’ll find a vast cache of both black & white and color shots, representing most genres of music, from a variety of famous photographers, in all sizes and within a price range to fit the casual fan to the avid collector. Rock Paper Photo was co-founded by Guy Oseary (Madonna’s Manager) and LiveNation, the world’s leading live entertainment and eCommerce company, so between those two entities you know the site has access to any image you could covet. I recommend you cruise on over there and waste some time right now! And have your credit card handy!
Primarily known as a designer of custom clothing for Rock Stars, Michael Houghton has taken his love of All Things Rock into the fine art world with a series of works on canvas known simply as “The Smoking Series.” Featuring large scale canvases (36” x 36”) adorned with appropriated, iconic images of Rock legends such as Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, you’ll notice that each has one thing in common: a smoldering cigarette. Whether perched between pouting lips or dangling from fingertips, everybody’s got one. The texture of each canvas suggests a layering technique, and Houghton explained to me that he uses a method similar to that used in hanging wallpaper: where he will apply paste to the image first so that it can be stretched across the canvas. Once the image is dry he can add surface adornments such as colorful paint and glitter accents. The finished images very much capture the spirit of Rock that seemed to die at the end the ’70s. A moment of silence please.
One of my favorites is an purple-glitter covered image of the late Steve Marriott of Humble Pie and The Small Faces who, coincidentally, died in a home fire caused by a cigarette. Sometimes, life’s lessons are tough ones.
Houghton seems to move The Smoking Series from venue to venue depending on which space offers his collection a home (recently it was on exhibit at Bread) and right now you can see it at the corner storefront space at 19 Kenmare Street, between Elizabeth and Bowery. This is definitely a “Pop Up” gallery situation and Michael admitted that while he hopes to get another week in the space, realistically the show will possibly be at this location only until Wednesday May 11th, so stop by while you can!
A 21-year-old singer tried to weasel his way out of Sweden’s hefty tax on imported alcohol by claiming that partying and free-flowing booze were occupational requirements for rock ‘n roll stars. “I also drink a great deal more than the average Swede. I’m a singer in a rock band and whisky is a part of it,” the man explained to the county administrative court.
According to Swedish Customs regulations, alcohol imports from other EU countries can be duty free if “the alcohol is meant for individual consumption or for your family’s needs.” But the court disagreed with the man’s arguments for why he should be given a larger allotment of tax-free alcohol imports than other Swedes.
It ruled therefore that Swedish Customs officials in Helsingborg acted correctly when they demanded the singer pay tax on the 45 litres of spirits, 60 litres of wine and 300 beers, which he wanted to bring into the country, reports the newspaper Metro.
Ian sent me the above link to this Brazilian web zine called Whiplash. Somehow, they seem to have gotten their hands on a huge archive of photos of Rock Stars in stages from mere infancy to teenage years. Each musician or band is archived under a separate link, which actually makes it easier to find a specific person, if you happen to be looking for baby pictures of Steven Tyler.
You honestly will not believe the adorable pictures of Ozzy Osbourne as a toddler posted on this site, and I think someone definitely had the opportunity to raid the baby picture archives of Marilyn Manson’s parents. There’s also some truly squeal-inducing elementary school age pictures of the late Layne Staley and Kurt Cobain that will just break your heart. On the lighter side, I found the world’s gayest picture of Slash (at about age 14) and another one of Paul Stanley that is just as gay as pink suede.
Check out the picture of Green Day drummer Tre Cool (my guess: age five) and tell me he doesn’t still look exactly like that. And last but not least, where the hell did they get a picture of Syd Barrett, who looks to be about 2 or 3 in the photo. Fascinating stuff.