Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Beyoncé wears Louis Vuitton’s silk top, cashmere shorts, hat, and mask; Givenchy 
by Riccardo Tisci’s silk satin bra. Lorraine Schwartz’s earrings, David Yurman’s ring. 
Photographs by Patrick Demarchelier, Styled by Alex White, W Magazine

In an interview for W Magazine,  Beyoncé discussed her new album titled '4' with Lynn Hirschberg. “I wanted this record to come from a raw place."

"Playing Etta James in the movie ­Cadillac Records really changed me. It was a darker character, and I realized that if anything is too comfortable, I want to run from it. It’s no fun being safe.”

According to Billboard Beyonce's fourth studio album, "4,", relased yesterday, is headed for a No. 1 debut next week on the Billboard 200 chart with maybe 300,000 copies sold by week's send on Sunday, July 3. If it starts at the top, it will be her fourth No. 1 solo album -- her three previous studio sets all hit No. 1 as well. 

The Atlantic compares her latest to her last album: "In between, there's an unmistakable, if gradual, turn from melancholic top 40 ballads to the confrontational snap of military drums and giddy proclamations of love. Is this I Am ... Sasha Fierce part 2? Not quite. The course of '4' documents a progression, a maturation, of Beyoncé's worldview." 

Rolling Stone observes, "Beyoncé's new album, '4', is a change of pace for the R&B queen ... '4' is a more relaxed, personal set that emphasizes ballads over bangers and showcases the singer's nuances; it's very much the sort of album a pop star makes when she doesn't feel like she has anything to prove." 

Billboard's Track-by-Track Review 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Brian Wilson

"There are few 20th century music figures as compelling as Brian Wilson. The former Beach Boys producer-singer had a profound effect on a generation of artists and a rich and complicated personal life even by pop-icon standards. Oren Moverman, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter behind the offbeat Bob Dylan film I'm Not There,  has been hired to write a script on Wilson's story." [Steven Zeitchik, 24 FramesMovies: Past, present and future]

"Wilson's arc is too complex to describe in a few neat sentences, but the short version, if you're not familiar with it, is this: Barely out of his teens, the Southern Californian burst on the music scene as the creative driving force of the Beach Boys. That band produced hits such as Surfin' U.S.A.,I Get Around, and California Girls." [Steven Zeitchik, 24 FramesMovies: Past, present and future]

Their 1966 album "Pet Sounds," with its unconventional instruments, harmonies and sound effects put together by Wilson, is widely regarded among pop's most important records." [Steven Zeitchik, 24 FramesMovies: Past, present and future]

Friday, June 17, 2011

Buddy Holly: Tribute Album

The catalog of rock 'n' roll pioneer Buddy Holly has continued to thrive long after the singer's life tragically ended at 22, and it will get a fresh look this summer when artists as varied as Cee Lo Green, Kid Rock, Fiona Apple, Modest Mouse, Lou Reed and Paul McCartney will appear on the 19-track collection "Rave On Buddy Holly." To be released June 28 by Fantasy Records/Concord Music Group, 

"Rave On" features recently-recorded takes on Holly classics such as "That'll Be the Day," "Peggy Sue" and "Oh Boy," among others. 

The set opens with bluesy revivalists the Black Keys tackling "Dearest," and comes to a close with Graham Nash revisiting "Raining In My Heart." In between, the likes of She & Him take on "Oh Boy," 

Modest Mouse remakes "That'll Be the Day" and Karen Elson, with husband Jack White, refashions "Crying, Waiting, Hoping." [Note Karen Elson and Jack White have filed for divorce]

Florence + the Machine cover one of Holly's signature songs in "Not Fade Away," and Apple, largely absent since the release of her last album in 2005, teams up again with Jon Brion for "Every Day." McCartney, long a champion of Holly's work (he produced and hosted tribute film "The Real Buddy Holly Story") sings "It's So Easy." 

The "Rave On" project was overseen by music supervisor Randall Poster. A press release from Concord promises that "Rave On" "steers clear of the reverent re-creations typically found on similar projects. Poster is quoted in the press release: "As the tracks from various contributors were gathered for the album, we seemed to be gathering pieces of a complex and original puzzle that traces back to the roots of rock and roll and shapes so much of the music that followed." [Editorial Review - Amazon]

The ‘Rave On Buddy Holly’ tracklisting is: 

‘Dearest’ - The Black Keys 
‘Every Day’ - Fiona Apple & Jon Brion 
‘It’s So Easy’ - Paul McCartney 
‘Not Fade Away’ - Florence + The Machine 
‘(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care’ - Cee Lo Green 
‘Crying, Waiting, Hoping’ - Karen Elson 
‘Rave On’ - Julian Casablancas 
‘I’m Gonna Love You Too’ - Jenny O. 
‘Maybe Baby’ - Justin Townes Earle 
‘Oh Boy’ - She & Him 
‘Changing All Those Changes’ - Nick Lowe 
‘Words Of Love’ - Patti Smith 
‘True Love Ways’ - My Morning Jacket 
‘That’ll Be The Day’ - Modest Mouse 
‘Well… All Right’ - Kid Rock 
‘Heartbeat’ - The Detroit Cobras 
‘Peggy Sue’ - Lou Reed 
‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ - John Doe 
‘Raining In My Heart’ - Graham Nash

Not fade Away: Florence + Machince

Florence Welch (Florence and the Machine) singing ‘Not Fade Away’, by the rock and roll pioneer Buddy Holly (1936-1959) . 

The cover is part of a forthcoming 19-track tribute album called ‘Rave On Buddy Holly’ which commemorates the late musician’s 75th birthday. 

The album which will be available on June 28 features the following artists: The Black Keys, Fiona Apple & Jon Brion, Paul McCartney, Florence And The Machine, Cee Lo Green, Karen Elson, Julian Casablancas, Jenny O, Justin Townes Earle, She & Him, Nick Lowe, Patti Smith, My Morning Jacket, Modest Mouse, Kid Rock, The Detroit Cobras, Lou Reed, John Doe and Graham Nash.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ashley Olsen: Marie Clare

Photographer: Mark Abrahams

Working closely with the MC fashion team and stylist Leslie Fremar on the cover shoot, Ashley brought to life her vision of a light and airy yet intimate portrait—a sweet escape from dark economic times. Antiqued silk and lace lingerie were a nod to the 1930s, while nubby sweaters kept the looks grounded in modernity. Vintage-inspired jewelry and a simple, understated color palette were in keeping with the rule of the day: Less is more. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Mary Kate Olsen: Interview Magazine

Mary-Kate Olsen by Christopher Bollen; Photography: Craig Mcdean 

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen: Designing Women

Photography by Inez Van Lamsweered and VInoodh Matadin
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who turn 25 on June 13, have taken the fashion industry by storm. Mary-Kate and Ashley  have  built a billion-dollar empire on marketing their own image via a successful line for Wal-Mart and contemporary line Elizabeth & James. But their high-end brand, The Row, has received critical raves  since its inception in 2006—and commercial success: annual sales are now estimated between $10 million and $12 million [Robin Givhan,The Daily Beast and Newsweek]

It all began, with a deceptively simple-looking, but actually French-seamed, soft, drapey tee. The Row started there because it pinpointed the territory of their own personal style; something utilitarian yet also able to be elevated to whole new heights, as comfortable—quite literally—when worn with vintage couture as when thrown together with ratty old biker leathers and leggings.  [Vogue]

The Row Named after historic and prestigious tailor's street Savile Row in London, super twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen founded The Row in 2007 with the simple mission to create the perfect t-shirt. With the aim to update classic basics with tailored precision, Mary-Kate and Ashley doesn't believe in trends but rather focus on clean lines, ultra-refined silhouettes and the perfect fit, for which the sisters have gained much appreciation and praise. A 100% manufactured in the U.S.A., the Row's low key tempered sensuality and quiet confidence has left the world in no doubt that their success is far from based on their celebrity status, but their unquestionable talent. 

This year, the Olsens have received much-awaited validation by the fashion community for their CFDA nomination. The Olsen twins were nominated for the Swarovski Award for womenswear. The Swarovski awards are for the best up-and-comers in fashion [Robin Givhan,The Daily Beast and Newsweek] Unfortunately for the Olsens the Swarovski awards for best up-and-comers went to Prabal Gurung 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Going GAGA

Lady Gaga photographed by Terry Richardson for the cover shoot of May 2011 issue of the fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar US. Lady Gaga sports a strapless black Versace evening dress styled by Nicola Formichetti.

Memoirs of a GAGA

Lady Gaga appears on the cover and in a photo shoot accompanying an interview by Elton John in the Summer 2011 issue of V Magazine #71 titled 'The Asian Issue'. 

Photographers: Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Stylist: Nicola Formichetti, Clothing: Mugler. Ten percent of the proceeds will go towards the Japan relief efforts.

Earlier this year, the magazine announced Lady Gaga as their new fashion and art writer.  Her column: From the Desk of Lady Gaga: will shares her thoughts on fashion and an exclusive look into her world. 

Ever since Lady Gaga  announced in March that she would be writing a fashion and art column for V magazine, you may have asked, what exactly does Lady Gaga know about fashion and art? Check out Lady Gaga Explains Herself for Eric Wilson's take on this question in the New York Times.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Lady Gaga: SNL 3 Way Golden Rule

Lady Gaga has teamed up with Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg for a brand new Saturday Night Live digital short called “3-Way (The Golden Rule).” The raunchy 90s-inspired skit is a follow-up to the Emmy-winning “Dick In A Box” and “Motherlover.”

Gaga's' Monster Month of May Highlights

May 05 - Judas Video Premier

The World Premiere of Lady Gaga's highly anticipated music video for "Judas" was scheduled to debut In Its entirety May 5th on E! and VEVO. VEVO uploaded the video on youtube on May 3rd. 

It was initially rumored that the video would be released on Easter. The song and the video came under heavy criticism by the Catholic church due to its religious iconography. 

May 07 HBO: Lady Gaga Presents The Monster Ball At Madison Square Garden.

The concert event featured Gaga’s show at Madison Square Garden as well as exclusive backstage footage and much more. 

On Wednesday night, the pop star touched down at the festival to perform a waterfront concert on the Riviera for the French TV show "Le Grand Journal."   

Wearing a gold-embellished ensemble, a red hood and a black-and-white hairstyle, Gaga explained the inspiration behind her look to host Michel Denisot. "I was really obsessed with religious imagery and fashion for the 'Judas' video," Gaga said. "I've been wearing very romantic, very biblical arrangements, and I always throw in some punk rock for good measure." [MTV News]

Lady Gaga Judas - Le Grand Journal - Watch & Download at

May 15 Lady Gaga Performs at Radio 1′s Big Weekend

Lady Gaga headlined day 2 of Radio 1′s Big Weekend in Carlisle, UK on Sunday. The singer performed her smash hits hits such as “Poker Face,” “Bad Romance” and “Alejandro” plus a sneak peak of Americano from the new album.  

May 16  Hair Single and Marry the Night Released

Lady Gaga released "Hair" a new promotional single.  “Hair” premiered on iTunes as a part of the countdown to Born This Way,  

“The song is one of my favorites on the album,” said Gaga. “It’s a really uptempo club record with a Bruce Springsteen vibe to it. I had Clarence Clemons come in from the E Street Band and play saxophone on the record. It has this KISS, Iron Maiden to the melody.”

May 18  Lady Gaga Tops Forbes’ Celebrity 100 List

Lady Gaga has topped Forbes’ annual Celebrity 100 list, which ranks the richest and the most powerful celebrities in the world. The queen of pop replaces Oprah Winfrey, who has held the title for more than four years. 

May 23 Born This Way Album Released

According to sales data published lastTuesday by Billboard magazine, "Born This Way" sold 1.11 million copies during the week ended May 29. It marks the biggest first-week sales total since rapper 50 Cent's "The Massacre" debuted to 1.14 million copies in March 2005. The last album to break the million mark was country starlet Taylor Swift's "Speak Now," which started with 1.01 million copies last November.

Overall digital downloads for "Born This Way" totaled a record-breaking 662,000 copies, Billboard said. The old record of 288,000 downloads was held by Coldplay's 2008 album "Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends." Billboard estimated that Amazon downloads accounted for upward of 440,000 downloads of "Born This Way. Amazon held a 2 day .99 promotion

May 26 MTV Special Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside

Lady Gaga opened up about her rise to fame in MTV’s exclusive special titled “Lady Gaga: Inside the Outside.” In the hour-long interview, the singer shared stories about her childhood and family and speaks about her new album.  

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

By now everyone is aware that Hollywood is remaking The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.   The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an adaptation of the first book [Män som hatar kvinnor or Men Who Hate Women] of the best-selling “Millennium Trilogy” by late Swedish author Stieg Larsson. 

To be honest I'm not sure how I feel about this situation. I enjoyed Niels Arden Oplev's film starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace and thought that it was well done. Besides Hollywood does not have a very good track record when remaking foreign films, be it Stray Dogs [Stray Dogs], Le Femme Nikita [Point of No Return], One Missed Call [One Missed Call] or myriad of films ruined by greed and a lack of an intrinsic understanding of the original film. It is easy for films to be lost in translation but more often than not it is simple greed and a disregard of cultural nuances that lead to remakes failing.

That said there is some hope. The Social Networks director, David Fincher is directing the remake.  Fincher is a more than adequate director. Fincher has directed The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Zodiac (2007), Panic Room (2002), Fight Club (1999) Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, The Game (1997), Se7en (1995), and Alien 3 (1992). 

Fincher divides his work between “movies” and “films”—by his definition, a movie is overtly commercial, engineered for the sole pleasure of the audience. A film is conceived for the public and filmmakers: It is more audacious, more daring. By his reckoning, Fight Club and, especially, Zodiac (neither of which were box office successes) are films, while The Social Network (which is a box office smash—close to $100 million in America alone) is simply a movie. [David Fincher Gets The Girl, By Lynn Hirschberg, W Magazine]The Question I have is: will The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo  be a film or in the end simply a movie?

Fincher already has stirred up controversy regarding how faithful his film will be to Larsson's novel. "The script, which captures the novel's bleak tone, was written by Academy Award winner Steven Zaillian, who wrote Schindler's List, and it departs rather dramatically from the book," Fincher told W Magazine. "Blomkvist is less promiscuous, Salander is more aggressive, and, most notably, the ending — the resolution of the drama — has been completely changed. "This may be sacrilege to some, but Zaillian has improved on Larsson — the script's ending is more interesting." 

Interview Magazine 2009
Rooney Mara has been selected by Fincher to play Lisbeth Salander, the protagonist in the Millennium Trilogy. Rooney was considered Fincher's first choice in the process: the director had just helmed her in The Social Network. Closing the deal amounted to a formality, since Mara essentially agreed to terms when she and other young actresses signed on to tests that Fincher and producer Scott Rudin had conducted over several weeks. Interestingly, her deal included an option for two sequels that will cover The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest meaning that Mara is not a lock for the second and third film.

Several established actresses had been named as being in contention for the role -- Natalie Portman, who tried to buy the books early on, Ellen Page, who filmed her own test, Carey Mulligan as well as Scarlett Johansson. Fincher has focused his testing process on discovering an actress who fits Salander physically and in age proximity, which is early 20s. Mara was among a group of young actresses that included Alice In Wonderland star Mia Wasikowska, Sucker Punch's Emily Browning, even though neither actress signed test deals, Fish Tank's Katie Jarvis. Mara tested along with Sophie Lowe, Sarah Snook and French actress Lea Seydoux. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes to theaters December 21st, 2011 and stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Stellan Skarsgård, Christopher Plummer, Joely Richardson, Yorick van Wageningen, Steven Berkoff.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What's Going On: 40 Years

Marvin Gaye's masterpiece What's Going On turned 40 last Saturday. What's Going On  was one of the most influential records from a passionate and enduring icon. 

Released on May 21, 1971, the album is an introspective, politically charged nine-piece song cycle that addresses the ravages of the Vietnam War, urban decay, drug abuse, civil unrest and injustice. Gaye was singing to his generation in an effort to wake people up to the struggles no one was willing to discuss at that time. But these songs are universal; they've transcended their time and place. Listen carefully and you'll notice how much they still resonate. [NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday Songs That We Love]
“The 25 Coolest Brothers Of All Time.” Ebony Magazine August 2008

Ebony Magazine in their August 2008 issue named "The 25 Coolest Brothers Of All Time.” For the first time ever, Ebony magazine defined Black Cool in an exclusive 8-cover editorial  featuring Marvin Gaye, Barack Obama, Jay-Z, Prince, Samuel L. Jackson, Denzel Washington, Muhammad Ali, and Billy Dee Williams on eight different collector’s edition covers

According to Ebony Magazine “These brothers radiate confidence and have an alluring charisma that sets the standard. From their sleek, debonair styles to their smooth-as-silk personas, these magnificent Black men have conveyed, captured and conquered the quintessence of “cool” while making it appear effortless.