Ciara's "Go Girl"

In the case of Ciara's horrid new single, "Go Girl"--which, unfortunately for her, hasn't gained enough momentum for any airplay in the new era of Rihanna (and to a lesser extent, Beyonce)--music video and song are mutually exclusive in quality. "Go Girl" is boring a derivative, hardly a worthy follow-up to "Like A Boy," but the video is high impact, heavily stylized, and hard-edged. It's essentially everything Ciara is not, which works visually. But that's as far the compliments go.


New Pepsi Logos make me LOL

Okay, Pepsi. Are you serious? Like, seriously? The new Pepsi logos are so beyond hideous. It's as if the cast of The Hills impregnated the Olsen twins and their baby said, "Let's revamp the Pepsi logo for the fourth time in fifty years! And do it with modern flair." If Coca-Cola has the same logo for almost a century, don't you think Pepsi should have caught on by now?

Brand recognition is contingent on visual recognition. The new logos remind me of a drab cleaning product or a deodorant. Yummy, Old Spice Soda! Diet Speed Stick! No matter, it's over for Pepsi anyways. They are the Burger King to Coke's McDonald's--there's just no momentum left.

Anyways, here's more info on the hijinks.

P.S. The Mountain Dew design is kind of growing on me. I'll update on my impressions later...or I'll just forget, which is far more likely.


Bringing it

Catrinel Menghia is a model I've never heard about. She's not even listed on Models.com, which is so odd considering her strong portfolio. Her work is dated, but when she hits it, it hurts so good. As a photographer, you know you've gotten a great shot when your model lets her emotions go. These are the select few images of Menghia I feel best represent that concept.

Above: This is the strongest image in her portfolio. It inspires me.

Above: This image is teetering on straight-up skank, but her face saves it. It's well-shot.



A steampunk sketch artist from Brighton, England. He puts the phenom in phenomenal.

I'm proud to be an American!

For all six Republicans under 35 still around after this election, I hope you realize these guys are your figureheads. Granted, the Dems have Pam Anderson and Spike Lee and a hundred porn stars, but at least they aren't this blatantly stupid. Regardless, Heidi and Spencer are visionaries (notice the labels below the post), because they make me so proud to not be a Republican.


Music: Beyonce, Cassius and Madonna's sampling minions

The music market is great right now. Musical variety is here, the big names in L.A. are all releasing records this fall, and the club scene is finally warming up. (Ironically enough, as the actual clubs start losing their drunken patronage.) Beyonce's "If I Were A Boy" is decent enough emopop, but I doubt the release will be followed with serious airplay. It's too similar to what Rihanna has done with "Take A Bow," which was in turn a total ripoff of B's own "Irreplaceable." Then again, maybe the departure from traditional Beyonce R&B/Pop--you know, spasmic, over-the-top faux-female empowerment anthems with blaring horns and whistles--is just what she needs. Another problem going for her is a lack of media exposure; it's not that the paparazzi doesn't want her picture (she's looking great in a bikini again), it's that she and Jay-Z avoid them like the plague. Good for their sanity, but not for B's career. There's a price to pay for no longer being a prominent figure in pop culture. Britney Spears just demonstrated how buzz can lead to success with the so-so "Womanizer" which currently sits at the top spot of the Billboard Hot 100. The only way B can come back in full force is with another "Crazy In Love," not likely considering her first two singles.

In other music news, when I started creating my pre-Madonna "Sticky and Sweet Tour" playlist this morning I was led on an iTunes jungle discovery bonanza, where one song led to another and another and another. "Toop Toop" by Cassius is a fun, grungy electronic track similar in spirit to Kylie Minogue's "2 Hearts" (the best track off last years' X), with pegged-on, blippy effects that feel slapped together. The track has a garageband feel to it, which is simply a statement of opinion--not neccesarily good or bad.

I was also turned on to Fedde Le Grand, an electronic artist who apparently missed his bubble of opportunity a long time ago. I only say this because his latest single was in September of 2007, and in DJ circles you have to come hard and fast to maintain the momentum of one good single. (Justice and Simian Mobile Disco are exceptions to this rule, as their talent far surpasses anything put out by your night-to-night DJs.) Regardless, Le Grand did have two good singles, but his only lasting relevance is Madonna's current tour, where she actually covers his breakout track, "Put Your Hands Up 4 Detroit." The song is a blast, with unpredictable synths and Moby-esque vocal samples. The electronic elements are handled in a innovative way that hints at the curiosity of the DJ, with ups and downs and a fun little series of saxophone samples that are instantly recognizable (despite my never hearing them before). Le Grand copies his own brilliance--take that last word with a whole spoonfull of salt--in his follow-up, "Let Me Think About It." Once again channeling Moby, Le Grand tries his hand at funk-electro, to mixed results. Imagine the seuxality of SMD's "Hustler" mixed in with "Put Your Hands Up." It's great for the two minutes it plays, but beyond that I'll stick with the electronica champs, thank you.


Age is a bitch

Verushka, model and icon in days long gone by. No, that is not a stunt man from Pirates of the Caribbean. It's an old, used-to-be-hot model. Ouch.

Why Mad Men is important

This Vanity Fair photo is all you need to know about Mad Men. The show is brilliant (if a bit uneventful)--I've been watching since episode one in 2007--and is making huge waves in American style and culture. It's phenomenal when something "small" (Mad Men doesn't garner half the viewers of The Hills) makes such an indelible impact in trend direction.


Inspirations 10.18.08

Okay so srsly. My blog is officially my new inspiration. I won't play games. The new design kicks ass.

like, damn.


like, DAMN!


Music: Kanye's "Heartless"

The second track off Kanye West's upcoming 808s and Heartbreak, "Heartless," is a second promise that the album will be a phenomenal work of art and a major landmark in a career becoming increasingly relevant in the 2000 era. I loved the raw, harsh musical qualities of "Love Lockdown," but there's no denying the slow-going melody was tiring to listen to. "Heartless" is not entirely accessible--Kanye's no Chris Brown--but Kanye's vision is confirmed; floaty synths and a radio-primed chorus are the only recognizable Kanyeisms in the entire track. The track has a nostalgic feel to it, a storybook quality, so it seems instantly classic but altogether different from anything he's ever produced.

(He raps!)

The simple fact that Kanye drops a few rhymes is a relief. I understand his rapping is not quite as technically impressive as Jay-Z or Ludacris, but I promise you there are at least three or four up-and-comers shilling EPs in Times Square with just as much talent. What sets Kanye apart is his sheer creativity. His singing voice is decent--pleasant, even--and this was evident during his tour earlier this year, where he sang the chorus for "Good Life" live on stage. Seeing him then, the audience knew change was a' comin'.

Kanye west is the new Gwen Stefani. He's more eccentric, but I think he's also more talented. For anyone who reads this blog, you know that's saying a lot. Mark your calendars, for November is a month to celebrate music.

Grab "Heartless" online while he's offering it free! (See! He just wants you to love him!)


Britney Spears Sets New Record with Hit Single: 'Womanizer' Makes Meteoric Jump From #96* to #1* on Pop Singles Chart

Last update: 3:30 p.m. EDT Oct. 15, 2008
NEW YORK, Oct 15, 2008 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Highly Anticipated Album "Circus" Set For Worldwide Release On December 2nd
Britney Spears is making history with her new single, "Womanizer." This week, "Womanizer" makes an unprecedented leap from No. 96* to claim the No. 1* spot on Billboard's "Hot 100 Singles" chart. This is the first time a song has ever made a leap of this magnitude on the singles chart. Further attesting to the multi-platinum singer's worldwide appeal, "Womanizer" is the No. 1 song on iTunes charts in Canada, France, Spain and Sweden.
The song's astonishing climb up the charts comes despite a major glitch that occurred yesterday when the "Womanizer" digital track was inadvertently removed and unavailable for sale at iTunes in the U.S. and in other countries for over a twelve hour period. The track first became available on iTunes on October 7th, and prior to the technical error, the digital track ranked No.1 there, selling over 275K units within the first six days of its release. However, the brief lapse did not slow down the momentum of the super-star's project; currently the digital track is back up on iTunes and digital sales are expected to quickly recover.
Rounding out a record-setting week, Spears debuted her "Womanizer" video on ABC's 20/20 news program this past Friday night; this is the first time a music video in its entirety has ever premiered during primetime on ABC. Additionally, the news program won the ratings race during its time slot, coming in No.1 in the coveted 18-35 demographic. The captivating video was directed by Joseph Kahn, who also directed Spears' riveting "Toxic" video.
"Womanizer" is the first single from her forthcoming album, Circus and was produced by the up-and-coming Atlanta production team The Outsyders. For her latest album, Britney has enlisted a stellar group of established producers/writers that include Dr. Luke (who wrote and produced the album's title track, "Circus"), Danja, Max Martin, Bloodshy & Avant and Guy Sigsworth (Madonna, Alanis Morissette, Bjork). Her sixth studio album, Circus, is set for release December 2nd, which coincides with Spears' 27th birthday.
Britney Spears is one of the top-selling artists of the last decade and to date; she has sold in excess of 62 million albums worldwide, that include "...Baby One More Time"(1999), "Oops!...I Did It Again" (2000), "Britney" (2001), "In The Zone" (2003), and "Blackout" (2007), nine #1 worldwide singles and four consecutive #1 albums.
SOURCE Jive Records


I hate to do this again

I hate posting so many vids without text, but time is money and both time and money are short at present.

This is crazed. The song is...well, horrible. The video is phenomenal though, easily one of the best she's ever produced. It's also eerily similar to the vid for "Suga Mama." Hmm. Not sure how the album will turn out if this is the best she has to offer.

The New Paris Hilton


Sexy Days are here again

Who could have known a time would come when the old Britney would once again become nearly identical to the new Britney? Is this above photo 1998 or 2008? If you can't tell, neither will I.


The Must List, 10.11.08

Gucci black pebble leather lace-up boots. Give me money.
ACQ for Puma ivory "Tendon Mid" tennis boots. Not a fan of Puma, like--at all, but this is stunning. Judging by the shot, the craftsmanship is only so-so, but paired with a short short or even blue jean cutoffs...Yeezy perfection.
Billykirk No. 109 "natural" leather belt. I'm definitely a new fan of Billykirk, as evidenced by the bag I'll be hefting (but hefting stylishly) this Wednesday, but this belt is just stunning. The skinny would work really well for a modern ensemble: light blue cotton shirt, perhaps gray tweed slacks and a nice navy cardigan. Shoes would be an issue, but I think the "belt-match-shoes" rule can be bent when a piece is this edited. I emailed Chris of Billykirk a few days ago inquiring about my bag, which is a little late, and he said he'd "throw in a little something extra" for my time. Hopefully, a "little something extra" is the $150.00 No. 109.




But, is she really??

Smart, that is.

Taking a week off.

Or, at least a few days. I need to recharge. I want to write about Keri Hilson's infectious new single--comparable to the year-defining opus that is Timbaland's "Way I Are"--review Yelle's show at Mohawk, and talk about a few interesting life revelations, but I'm happy to just...not.

My cousin Landry told me, "That smells good!"
"Like what?"
"Like grape juice!"

What's freaky is that she's right.


Inside Duffy's Austin City Limits

This is the stage, sans-Duffy herself. She's coming on in, what, 30 minutes? I'm no huge fan, but this is a pretty cool experience.



quote 10.04.08

"We think that fashion should not be for everyone and that luxury should go back to the point where it was a synonym for elitism and exclusivity."

-Stefano Gabbana of D&G


Music: Ultraviolet Sound

A very good friend of mine turned me onto an electro-pop group who call themselves Ultraviolet Sound. They aren't exceptionally talented--more so than Dangerous Muse but lacking the originality of Crystal Castles or Neon Neon--but they have quite a few tracks on which to build a decent musical foundation (unless their garish album cover is any indication). The lead singer, a woman with a nondescript vocal style and, tragically, a look that just won't sell to the American public (okay, she's ugly), is moderately entertaining, chirping like an over-processed crack whore on "Babyz" and "The Thrill Can Kill," but hitting the perfect balance between Sam Sparro spotlight-grabbing and Cascada vocal placeholding on "Ooh I Like It," far and away the best track on the EP/LP hybrid. "Brainwashed" demonstrates some clever writing and vocal diversity (almost Kelis-like in tone), but "Ooh" steals the show here.

"Ooh" is a track that's actually surprising, which is well, erm, surprising considering the set is free. Beginning with a ferocious opening lyric--a muzzled, sexual confession of dancefloor ecstasy--that tricks the listener into thinking the chorus has already been spoiled, "Ooh" is actually a slow burn, with purple-tipped flames rising until the middle of the track where Ms. Nondescript oozes out a suitably electro-zapped, "I liiiiikeeee itttttt..." to a relentless bass and well-placed synths. It's the only track in the collection that really stands out, which should be expected--what artist would honestly give away their best work for free in an Adidas campaign?

Speaking of Adidas, I find it kind of comical that this is their way of promoting their new shoe line. I'm in advertising; Adidas has no relevance in the market right now, and I'm pretty sure shilling a half-decent electro band like Ultraviolet Sound will only drive them further into the abyss of forgotten brands (remember K*Swiss? Didn't think so). Although, if they are marketing towards emos, which I believe has grown to about 30% of the mall population and is therefore a demographic all its own, this is a smart route to take.

But honestly, the emos are far to busy dying their hair and shopping at Hot Topic to listen to Ultraviolet Sound. We all know they're actually listening to Boys Like Girls anyways.



Austin City Limits this year was fantastic. Not quite up to par with last year, but definitely better than 2006 (sans Coldplay). However, one of the most entertaining aspects of the festival is trendspotting. Last year Ray-Ban aviators set the standard for ACL chic, topped off (or bottomed off?) with short-shorts and gym socks. For guys, folded bandanas were everywhere, while girls sported thin leather bands around their foreheads.

This year, not so much.

In fact, this year was a step down from even last year's trends. Like, people were still wearing Ray-Bans and short-shorts, but they just didn't jive with the mood of 08's low-key festivities. There is one exception, however, and that is the image below. Granted, these girls (+guy) are pretty much carbon copies of themselves, but if something works don't fix it--but if that "something" is three-year-old aviators, it needs fixing.