In Lethem’s 11th novel, a wisecracking woman goes in search of her friend’s missing daughter — and elusive truths about her country.
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In Lethem’s 11th novel, a wisecracking woman goes in search of her friend’s missing daughter — and elusive truths about her country.
NYT > Books
BOOK SALE UPDATE!
Eight weeks of marriage can provide a whole new perspective and a whole lot of life lessons.
For the past several months, viewers watched Jonathan Francetic get married and subsequently…
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BOARD GAME: Jonathan Anderson’s role at Loewe is no longer limited to the creative side of things. The designer has been appointed director of the company’s board of directors, Bernard Kuhn, general counsel for LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, said at the group’s annual general meeting Thursday. Sidney Toledano has been named the board’s chairman. The Madrid-based house falls under his purview in his role as executive chairman of LVMH Fashion Group.
The news comes on the heels of a wide-ranging reshuffle at the group which, in November, appointed Pietro Beccari as chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture, succeeding Toledano.
Anderson joined the Spanish leather goods firm in 2013, bringing a strong fashion injection to the house, with former Céline executive Pascale Lepoivre coming on board as ceo in September 2016.
His runway debut at Loewe, a brand that dates back to 1846, came one year after LVMH took a 46 percent stake in his London-based signature label J.W. Anderson.
The fashion and entertainment worlds came together on Thursday to celebrate International Women’s Day at The Standard Hollywood as Jonathan Simkhai and writer, television host and transgender rights activist Janet Mock invited friends to dinner and to participate in The Standard’s Ring Your Rep initiative benefiting Swing Left.
The event drew Ian Somerhalder, Nikki Reed, Jaime King, Aluna Francis, Skyler Samuels, Arielle Kebbel. Angelique Soave, Gavin Turek, Brittany Xavier and Baddiewinkle, among others.
Simhkai first encountered Mock when he heard her speak at the Women’s March last year. “I was so impressed that I reached out to her to talk about ways we could work together. I’m not ‘political’ but anything I can do to support women, I will,” he said.
The designer created a black-and-white T-shirt that said “Feminist AF,” explaining, “It’s playful and it gets the message across.” Actress Diane Guerrero proudly wore hers with a black shorts suit, saying, “It speaks pretty clearly for itself.”
The shirts will be sold on jonathansimkhai.com, with proceeds benefiting Swing Left, the progressive political group which aims to take back the House for Democrats in 2018 by encouraging people to vote in the November mid-term elections.
Nikki Reed and Arielle Kebbel
“People want to
TAKE TWO: Jonathan Anderson packed photographer Alasdair McLellan off to Northern Ireland for their second collaboration on the designer’s Workshops line, a series of monthly collaborations between Anderson and a lineup of fellow creatives that he calls “kindred spirits,” the fruits of which are available at a retail space next to the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, London.
“I love doing [these collaborations] because it’s my micro-project and more about accessibility and the idea of trying to bring a newness of the time in a way that is actually personal to me,” Anderson told WWD. “This shop is an experiment for me, it was always meant to be, we are now embarking on a new year of working with different ceramist, poets, artists, photographers and archives.”
Within this McLellan collaboration are items including T-shirts, key rings, mugs, stickers, puzzles, badges and posters featuring exclusive photographs by him of models and Northern Irish landscapes.
J.W. Anderson x Alasdair McLellan
“Alasdair went to Northern Ireland, where I come from, and he shot all the different landmarks that I knew as a kid. The Mourne Mountains, the Giant’s Causeway, the Falls Road…” said Anderson, adding that this was far from McLellan’s first foray into Ireland.
“Alasdair has always
Jonathan Martin, the printed top and dresses resource that had its heyday in the Eighties and Nineties, is returning to the market for spring after a seven-year absence.
Owner Uri Harkham, who founded the line in Los Angeles in 1975, said he spies a need in the better women’s market for office-appropriate tops and dresses featuring custom prints and treatments. In addition, he has launched a high-end Italian silk line called Hark + Hammer that sells pieces for $ 200 to $ 300 direct to consumers online.
“People say, ‘What are you, nuts? There’s no customer,’ but when we launched Jonathan Martin in ’75, people also thought we were nuts. But we found our niche and it was really a privilege to be in this industry. I think it’s still relevant,” said Harkham.
Meant to retail in major department stores for $ 49 to $ 79, Jonathan Martin features monthly deliveries of flutter-sleeve tops and wrap dresses with details like front-and-back embroidery and custom print borders. Harkham said the line will be available in a plus-size range and that he hopes to re-create the partnerships he had with retailers such as Lane Bryant.
“I believe we can still serve the market, so this is why I’m coming back.
LONDON — Jonathan Anderson was thinking “universal and quirky,” for the first J.W. Anderson collaboration with Uniqlo, a mash-up of urban, collegiate and military-inspired looks and basics in oversized proportions, tartan and stripes.
The 33-piece collection for Uniqlo’s LifeWear, which was first revealed in March, will launch on September 19 in the U.K., followed by other markets. The collection is for men and women with pieces including a duffle coat, an oversized striped turtleneck with ties around the wrists, a crewneck sweater with an abstract fish floating across the front, a tartan down jacket and a matching padded tote.
A visual from the J.W. Anderson x Uniqlo campaign
SEE ALSO: Uniqlo Enlists Jonathan Anderson to Bring a British Accent to Life Wear >>
“The point of doing this collaboration was that I believe in democracy in fashion,” said Anderson. “What I hope will be achieved is that any age demographic can pick up and find something within the collection to relate to. Doing something with Uniqlo means you come up with a wardrobe which is universal and quirky.”
Anderson also responded wholeheartedly to the Japanese idea of “reducing something to its essence. It can be culturally, textile, or silhouette-driven, but it’s about the
LONDON — Sir Jonathan Ive, Apple’s chief design officer, has been tapped as the Royal College of Art’s new chancellor. The college has confirmed the appointment, and said the five-year term would take effect in July.
Ive will replace the British inventor James Dyson. He will oversee meetings and take part in the institution’s governing body. He will also advise the school on digital initiatives pertaining to computer science, the effects of the digital economy and advance manufacturing. He will also be involved in the construction of the school’s new building in Battersea, which is slated to launch in 2020.
“As chancellor, Jony embodies the RCA’s ideals of technology and design excellence, inspiring students and staff,” said Paul Thompson, rector of the Royal College of Art, adding that Ive will enable the college “to educate the next generation of world-leading artists and designers.”
At Apple, Ive oversees the aesthetic and experience of the products, ranging from hardware and packaging to user interface. He is also involved in the development of Apple Park, the company’s California campus. He owns more than 5,000 patents and received an honorary doctorate from RCA in 2009. Among his list of accolades includes a CBE in 2006 and a KBE
The Oscar-winning film-maker also made such films as Philadelphia and Stop Making Sense.
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The great filmmakers who came to prominence in the 1970s — and Jonathan Demme, who died Wednesday, was one of them — had stylistic traits that made them iconically identifiable. Robert Altman had his multi-character hubbub, Martin Scorsese had his volcanic rock ‘n’ roll virtuosity, and Francis Ford Coppola had his lavishly scaled operatic grandeur…. Read more »
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“Property Brothers” star Jonathan Scott is opening up about his first marriage.
In People magazine’s April cover story (featuring his twin Drew as well, whom he stars on several HGTV shows with), the 38-year-old dished on his first marriage to an airline crew scheduler named Kelsey. The marriage, which took place in 2007, ended two years later because the two were young and rushed things, according to Scott.
“She wanted to get married on 07/07/07,” Scott said. “So it wasn’t something that naturally happened.
Though the marriage ended, the “Property Brothers” star said he gained lot from the experience.
“I think that one of the biggest things I learned is that you can have two good people who are just not good for each other,” he said. “I’m glad that we found that out early. You know, we didn’t have kids or anything. And it really helped me understand what I wanted in a relationship.”
These days, Scott told People he’s dating 28-year-old Jacinta Kuznetsov, a producer for his company Scott Brothers’ Entertainment.
Jonathan’s twin Drew is also off the market. The “Property Brothers” star proposed to his fiancee, Linda Phan, in December 2016 after more than five years of dating.
Watch the video above to learn more from the Scotts’ People interview:
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Jonathan Lipnicki is reminding fans that being a child star isn’t all glitz and glamour.
More than 20 years after starring in Jerry Maguire as Ray Boyd, the Hollywood star is opening…
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Property Brothers star Jonathan Scott is tired of seeing the hate being spread in the comments of his social media pages.
The 38-year-old contractor and HGTV star posted a video to his social media sites on Sunday, where he clapped back at those “incessantly cyber bullying” and gave a passionate plea for tolerance moving forward.
The video was in response to hate that first came Scott’s way after the twin sent a message of support to all those participating in the Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington — and the hundreds of “sister marches” staged across the globe.
“They are our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our partners and our friends,” he wrote on Saturday. “They are strong, intelligent, courageous women who deserve be be heard. A culture that respects & supports it’s women is one destined for great things.”
Watch the video above, and read the transcript of Scott’s words below.
Think back to you were a child and your parents taught you that if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all. I have no idea what happened to that.
Because I read all of your posts. And fortunately, most of our fans are incredible and they have insightful comments, and I love sharing their stories and that’s great. But we also have people who are cruel and angry and no matter what, they just have something negative to say. This is not the place for that. Not to mention that we have a lot of kids who read these posts actively.
When your parents were teaching you that message they were not suggesting that you have to always conform. There’s a big difference between having a different opinion and always trying to pick a fight.
My social media is a place for all of us to inspire each other and build each other up, and there’s no need to try to tear us apart and always attack other fans.
RELATED VIDEO: Watch: Natasha Stoynoff Breaks Silence, Accuses Donald Trump of Sexual Attack
And I’ll be honest — if it offends you when I post saying I believe in human rights or I believe in equality or even just simple human kindness, then I think you need to take a good look in the mirror and find your source of unhappiness.
When you choose to look at the world from a place of hostility, well it’s unlikely you’re going to see even the smallest amount of good. And that is a tragedy.
We will never all agree on everything, but we should always be willing to look and see if someone’s heart is in the right place. And when I see this inspiring situation where strangers have come together all over the world to express their peaceful passions for justice, well that has resonated to areas on the planet where unfortunately people don’t experience the same democratic freedoms that we have. But someday I hope that they will.
I just believe that any achievement for equality here in America is a victory for human rights around the world. Period.
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Jonathan Rhys Meyers is in final talks to take the lead role in police thriller “Blue on Blue” with Jon Amiel directing and Meyers Media Group producing. Inspired by true events, “Blue on Blue” follows a corrupt police officer who uses his extensive charm and guile to ensnare an unsuspecting rookie cop in a daring web of… Read more »
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From his writing about women to his comments on being a man (”It’s like there’s no way to make myself not male”) to his lack of a diverse friend group (”I don’t have very many black friends”), Franzen hasn’t done much to ingratiate himself with the people of the World wide Web.
As such, it’s no surprise that the polemical writer of works such as The Corrections and Purity was most recently the butt of a joke.
This isn’t a drill: Ciswhitemale.com actually takes you to Franzen’s Facebook fan page.
Also, if you search the ciswhitemale.com site on Google, you get this delightful search result:
2017 is going to be a hoot, isn’t it?
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BLOOM BLOOM ROOM: Jonathan Anderson keeps stretching Loewe into broader lifestyle territory: A flower shop is among unexpected features of Loewe’s new Madrid flagship, slated to open to the public on Nov. 18.
The 10,000-square-foot unit spreads over three floors of Loewe’s head office in a landmark 19th-century building, and showcases the top-to-toe makeover Anderson has engineered since arriving in 2014 as creative director of the heritage brand, owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
The Loewe flagship in Madrid.
The unit, dubbed Casa Loewe, also boasts artworks and specialized departments for made-to-measure and exotic skin items.
Anderson and LVMH brass are heading to Madrid for a slate of opening events on Nov. 17, including a store cocktail, an exhibition at Madrid’s botanical gardens and an after party.
Overview When Marlene Dietrich makes her entrance in Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright, the Dior dress she wears immediately draws the viewer’s attention-not because of its designer label, but owing to the dramatic blood stains ruining its stylish surface. Fashion in film goes far beyond glamorous costumes on glamorous stars, as Jonathan Faiers proves in Dressing Dangerously, a pioneering study of the “cinematic negative wardrobe” revealed in mainstream movies. The book emphasizes how problematic, even shocking depictions of dress, until now largely overlooked, play pivotal roles in shaping film narrative. Integrating fashion theory, film analysis, and literature, the insightful text investigates the ways cinema influences fashion and, conversely, how fashion speaks to film. The book also reveals how clothing, imbued with its own symbolic meaning, can be read much like a text; when used to provocative effect, for example, in films such as Villain, Leave Her to Heaven, and Casino, the stars’ costumes as well as their actions elicit a complex set of emotional responses. Dressing Dangerously brings together a wealth of illustrations, from glossy publicity photos featuring immaculately dressed stars to film stills that capture “dangerously” fashionable moments. Product details Isbn-13: 9780300184389, 978-0300184389 Author: Jonathan Faiers Publisher: Yale University Press Publication date: 2013-11-05 About Wordery Wordery is one of the UK’s largest online booksellers. With millions of satisfied customers who enjoy low prices on a huge range of books, we offer a reliable and trusted service and consistently receive excellent feedback. We offer a huge range of over 8 million books; bestsellers, children’s books, cheap paperbacks, baby books, special edition hardbacks and textbooks. All our books are dispatched from the UK. Wordery offers Free Delivery on all UK orders, and competitively priced international delivery. #HappyReading
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JONATHAN COHEN HITS THE BEACH WITH MARYSIA SWIM: Jonathan Cohen is dipping his toe into the water in a design collaboration with Marysia Swim. Hitting stores on April 30, the four styles blend the leopard dot print from Cohen’s current spring collection with Marysia Dobrzanska Reeves’ imaginative silhouettes. In her first-ever collaboration with another designer, Reeves conjured a halter-style maillot and a bandeau bikini cut with scalloped edges. Retailing from $ 260 to $ 320, the collaboration will be sold on each designer’s e-commerce site and also at Kirna Zabête, Shopbop.com, Everything But Water, Anthropologie, Avenue 32 and Lissilaa.
Jonathan Pollard, an intelligence analyst working in the U.S. Naval Investigative Service’s Anti-Terrorist Alert Center, systematically stole highly sensitive secrets from almost every major intelligence agency in the United States. In just eighteen months he sold more than one million pages of classified material to Israel. No other spy in U.S. history has stolen so many secrets, so highly classified, in such a short period of time. Author Ronald Olive was in charge of counterintelligence in the Washington office of the Naval Investigative Service that investigated Pollard and garnered the confession that led to his arrest in 1985 and eventual life sentence. His book reveals details of Pollard’s confession, his interaction with the author when suspicion was mounting, and countless other details never before made public. Olive points to mistaken assumptions and leadership failures that allowed Pollard to ransack America’s defense intelligence long after he should have been caught.
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A Conversation with Steve Miller and Journey’s Neal Schon & Jonathan Cain
Mike Ragogna: Journey and the Steve Miller Band recorded a few of the most popular albums ever made, especially Escape and Greatest Hits 1974-1978. And soon, you’ll be touring together with Tower Of Power. What is it about your bands that resonated with pop culture?
Steve Miller: I think Journey and Tower Of Power and the Steve Miller Band, we’re all part of the core of original groups in the San Francisco music scene. This is a social phenomenon as well as a musical phenomenon. These bands are an integral part of music and art and production of a whole new approach to music. Once you start changing the way people attend concerts, what happens to concerts, then you’re in an unusual creative environment that San Francisco was in for three decades–really, the sixties, the seventies, and the eighties. There’s really just an amazing amount of creativity that came out of there. I think that’s what shaped bands like Journey and us. We made a lot of records. If you look at Journey, “Don’t Stop Believing” and all the albums that they put out in a row–Infinity and then Evolution, Departure, Escape, Frontiers–that was like in five years. I think we put out five albums in the first eighteen months that we started recording. Five albums in eighteen months is pretty amazing. The creativity was fast and the response from the audiences was instant.
At the same time we’re doing this, we were building brand new stages, brand new sound systems, brand new light shows. All that really added, I think, to what made the music mean more than just a string of hits. Tower Of Power is in there too. This is a phenomenal band. When you look at the music that came out of it, it makes sense that it’s become so classic. Journey proves it, Tower Of Power proves it, people are still listening to these songs, they’re still buying these songs and they’re still coming out and they want to hear and see the bands perform. So that’s a different thing from just producing hit music and writing hit singles. There’s a lot more to it than just that music.
Neal Schon: I think the reason Journey is still prominent and out there is because we basically work our asses off and tour every year and continually play the music and have new audiences coming all the time, maintaining younger fans. Also I think we just got it right. We wrote a lot of really great songs, the three of us–myself, Steve Perry, and Jonathan Cain. We just got some things right, and I think that’s why it’s etched in stone.
Jonathan Cain: I’d say the thing is that time period that [we all] had our success, people were hungry for the combination. American music is blues, it’s pop, it’s soul, and it’s the combination that makes it unique. I think all of us have that in common. We grew up loving soul and the blues and great melodies. I think the melodies were contagious, they were in the air, people wanted to be able to sing along with stuff, people wanted to party. We had Bill Graham, one of the greatest promoters of all time. He really invented the rock concert. He was a local guy who brought the Bay area together. We had the Bammies–the Bay Area Music Awards–a brotherhood celebration, if you will, of artists who shared the passion in the Bay area. It was a time and place when the Forty-Niners were close to the town and they would show up with Bill Graham at concerts.
I think we in the seventies and eighties enjoyed some of the greatest moments with our fans because the ticket prices weren’t crazy, they were out there buying our albums–two hundred and fifty thousand a week. It’s unheard of, that amount of participation with our fans, sharing this thing, and we happened to [be on] one of the greatest record companies in the business, Columbia. There were a lot of shiest-y ones that didn’t pay you. But I have to say, Columbia always took care of us. Their army of soldiers helped sell these phenomenal records, well over a hundred million, which is hard to believe. We would not be the brand without all of those wonderful people who helped us in those years.
It took a village to make a hit record, to make brands like Journey and the Steve Miller Band last. We had the good fortune of having all of those people, the distributors, the handlers, the ones that got the records out to the stores before Best Buy and all these other people took over, that was amazing. You go to met these folks; they were grassroots people. We were very blessed to have that kind of backing. I think that contributes to a lot of our success today, while we were still out there doing it. Without the radio people–the DJs, the personalities, the Kid Leos of the world who promoted bands and had you on the radio that wanted to know how you were and had you on an interview; those kind of things where you actually went on a radio station and talked to the city and checked in with those people. “How are you doing?” That was an amazing time, where artists really got a look at the fans they were looking at, taking phone calls on the air, and really, really knowing your audience, looking them in the eye, saying, “Yeah!” Me joining Journey with Steve Perry was a crapshoot. They picked me out of The Babys and little did I know how much Steve and Neal and I would have in common musically. Together, we wrote some pretty cool songs. I’m very proud of that.
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
NS: My son is an aspiring guitarist and he’s amazing, I’m always looking for ways to help him out and get him out there–with the demise of record stores and pretty much the whole record industry I tell him, “You’ve got to go out and you have to play and you have to be seen.” It’s very difficult, I realize it is, for young artists to be seen because it’s so backwards. It’s A-S-S-backwards! You have to pay to play a lot of times in these clubs, a lot of Mom & Pop clubs are closing down, so it’s very difficult. But I just say, “Jam with whomever you can, who’s got a decent name and a decent band and be seen as much as you can in a live sense.”
JC: My advice to new artists is to be true to what you believe you’re best at, and not to try to chase the trend. If you’re a hip-hop guy, stay a hip-hop guy. If you’re a rock guy, be the best rock guy you can be. Go with your strengths and try to get your music and your brand out there on the internet. It’s really the best place, with social media and all these sites that you can go on and put your music out there. Just try not to give it away. That’s the one problem…people are giving out their music for free.
MR: Steve, what is your advice for new artists?
SM: My advice for new artists is to forget about all of this and take acting and dancing lessons and become a video star.
MR: [laughs] But what if they’d prefer to play music?
SM: I’ll tell you the truth. When I started playing, the only hope there was, was to work in night clubs. This was before San Francisco. When San Francisco opened up, I left Chicago where I played with Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf and James Cotton and Junior Wells and Buddy Guy and immediately went to San Francisco because it was a chance to play in a ballroom to twelve hundred people instead of a bunch of drunks in a nightclub. It’s sort of like the same world for new artists. It seemed impossible when I was a kid. I never thought that I would be able to make any kind of records and never thought seriously about a musical career because a musical career was being Fabian or Frankie Avalon or something. It didn’t make any sense. There wasn’t any possibility to get into that world.
It’s kind of like that for kids now. I just had an eighteen year-old kid opening for me in Canada a couple weeks ago, Matthew Curry. Wonderful guitar player, great songwriter, in the Stevie Ray Vaughan area of virtuosity and originality. He’s really great. I’m looking at this kid and he’s driving in a van so he can open for us. I brought him up on stage to play with us and I’m sitting there trying to figure out, “How is this kid going to actually make it in this world where it takes five million dollars and a corporate sponsorship from Pepsicola to have a hit record nowadays?” It takes thirty million dollars to sell two million albums; it’s crazy.
I don’t really have any instant advice for these kinds of kids except to be true to yourself. Suffer for your art and hang on and maybe something will change where you actually have a chance. Right now, I don’t think they have much of a chance. I think all this “Get it on the internet!” stuff is BS and nonsense. You have to really connect with people. There aren’t very many clubs, there’s no place for people to develop and play. It’s a bad time right now for young artists. It’s not always about huge, giant commercial success; it’s about art, it’s about creativity, it’s about virtuosity. I worry about that, because it doesn’t look really good, but when I was a kid, it didn’t look good either. Big time success then was to be on a bus with seven other bands doing a gig where you did ninety shows in eighty days. I wasn’t kidding when I said, “Take acting lessons and work on your video,” because without that…
JC: Steve, we can look at a guy like Joe Bonamassa. I wrote a couple of songs on his album and Joe has forged a career out of basically using internet and his live playing and staying current with his fans and has made a career.
SM: Joe’s like me! He’s a guy who won’t be denied. Joe Bonamassa’s been grinding now for twenty years. He plays club by club, small gig by small gig, going to Europe and working and working and working and working and working and people love him and he’s a great guitar player. He should be forty times the size of the artist he is.
JC: Sure, but he’s still surviving in this business. My hat goes off to him.
SM: Oh, me too. My point is he’s tougher than five thousand other guitar players for all those reasons. That’s how hard it is to actually make it. He’s a perfect example of somebody who’s really, really strong and works really hard. He knows who he is and what he’s doing; he’s not some talented little kid with a manager who’s going to make his career. That’s rare…that’s really, really rare. There are a lot of great guitar players that you never get to hear. It’s been that way all my life. You finish doing a gig in front of twenty thousand people and go back to the hotel to The Boom-Boom Room at the top of The Sheraton and there’ll be some guy in there who will blow you away that nobody will ever hear of because they’re not tough enough to win in this gangster world of music, you know?
Transcribed By Galen Hawthorne
A Conversation with JuiceBox and The Rad Trad’s Jamie Eblen
Mike Ragogna: Jamie! Okay, first of all, what is JuiceBox up to lately?
Jamie Eblen: JuiceBox is in a transitional phase. We just started working with new management and getting new gig opportunities. We also recorded an EP, First Cut, about a year ago, and at this point we’ve got about two more EPs’ worth of material, so we’re trying to figure out a time to get back into the studio more. And we’re gearing up for some shows this summer, so lots of things are in the works.
MR: Great. What are you doing regarding the EP? Is it only online, or are you pressing physical products?
JE: We do have physical CDs that you can order off our website, and we’ve also been making downloads available through iTunes and Band Camp, as well as CD Baby and I think Amazon.
MR: Do you find there are more sales from downloads or CDs?
JE: I’d say we get more downloads because the only place we’re really selling CDs is at shows, and the sales there are definitely less. It’s an impulse buy in a lot of ways.
MR: Gotta have the swag too, no?
JE: We’re working on getting some merchandise together. We don’t have shirts or anything like that at this point. It’s pretty much the CDs and the business cards… so you know where to find us!
MR: [laughs] How did you get your gig with JuiceBox?
JE: I was the last member to come in. The band kind of formed out of a collection of people at NYU. Our singer, Lisa Ramey, is the only other one who didn’t go to NYU, and I came on late in the game because they were going on a tour to Italy and the drummer couldn’t make it. Nick Myers, the saxophone player, called me and said, “Hey, man, you wanna go to Italy?” I had just come back from study abroad in Florence for five months, and I was about to jump on any opportunity to go back to Italy, so that’s kind of how I came into it. They had existed for about a year or two before I joined them.
MR: But you came into it with a solid jazz background, in addition to a rock background.
JE: Yeah. My favorite drummer hands down is John Bonham, so I’m always coming from that and the jazz perspective, as well as funk and soul. But the band definitely has a jazz vibe to it, with the horns, guitar and organ; our organist Dave Mainella is fantastic. So it’s got a lot of different stuff happening, which is what I really enjoy about the band.
MR: Your parents, Ed Eblen and writer Robyn Flans, are pretty much music biz fixtures.
JE: They definitely are. Both have great faith in music, my dad being a drummer and my mom being a person who writes about drummers and musicians. So it’s been a life full of music education.
MR: Your dad taught you how to play, right?
JE: Yeah. I spent a lot of time digging up old drums with my dad and figuring out how to play rock beats that he taught me. When I was really young I had a little CB drum set. I got that when I was in sixth grade, and he taught me rock beats. Also he and my mom hooked up Ed Shaughnessy’s old drum set to be in my bedroom. So that was kind of amazing to have that.
MR: Was that inspirational?
JE: A little bit, yeah. The first groove I learned on that drum set that my dad helped me with was the “Come Together” groove.
MR: Nice. Your dad’s very experienced, having played in a lot of clubs and with different bands in California, Nashville, and all sorts of places.
JE: Yeah, Vegas, Nashville, New York recently; many different places. So over the course of time I imagine I will have travelled a lot of the same places as he has. I just went on tour with another band, and I was calling him from different places, like, “Hey, I’m in Indiana now, you ever been here?” It was funny.
MR: What are the elements of JuiceBox, insofar as how do you guys create the material?
JE: I would say it’s very democratic; someone brings an idea or a really fleshed-out song, it varies, and then we all sit together, play through it a bunch, talk about it, but we try to keep it mostly to the playing. I find that, as a band, when we get to work and just play the song over and over it sort of evolves over the course of a rehearsal. And then we record a tape, send it out, everyone listens to it, and then we workshop it the next time. But it all starts either with a jam vibe, which I’d say is less happening now because everyone’s bringing songs to the band then having band fully flesh them out. Or people will bring out fully written out charts. It varies.
MR: Are you hoping the listener is grooving to the music and wants to dance to it, and/or do you want them to just sit back and listen to the arrangements?
JE: Ideally, we play a room with a wide-open floor, no tables, no chairs, and a lot of people. That’s our ideal room. But we do a lot of other stuff. We play this club in New York called The General, and that’s much more of a dinner club vibe, and they’ve got tables and chairs and people sit. And they’re grooving, and I’d say that’s what we want. We want people grooving. If they’re grooving in their chairs, that’s fine with me.
MR: Did you bring in any of your Broadway experience into the group, you know, because you’ve been in Broadway musicals, etc.?
JE: Yeah. I’ve worked with Jason Robert Brown on various projects; Honeymoon in Vegas the most recent. There are a lot of things I bring from that experience. They all inform one another–the JuiceBox experience, the musical theater thing, playing a lot of different percussion, I’d say is an interesting thing about the Broadway world that I would be carrying over into JuiceBox. It’s hands-on a lot of different stuff which is a great sound for both vibes.
MR: You’re based out of Brooklyn. So they actually have music in Brooklyn? Whaaa?
JE: [laughs] I think it’s at a great place. There’s a lot of great music to find pretty much every night, and a lot of it’s close to me, and there’re music clubs opening up all the time. I’d say it’s definitely a burgeoning scene. I don’t know if there’s anything specifically at the helm of the Brooklyn scene because there are so many different things happening. It’s indie, and whatever it is that encompasses that. Folk rock; funk and jazz; it’s kind of a hodgepodge, which I think is what Brooklyn’s great at, but it’s also not necessarily focused. Right where I live in Prospect Heights there’s two jazz clubs within walking distance, and lots and lots of musicians. We have sessions at my apartment all the time with various jazz guys, or the Trad jazz band that I have.
MR: So, Jamie Eblen of Juicebox and let’s not forget The Rad Trads. What do you want to do with your life, young man!
JE: [laughs] It’s an interesting time right now. There’s a lot of different stuff that’s happening, but not necessarily a lot of stuff that’s happening right now, if that makes sense. This Broadway thing’s on hold; all this JuiceBox stuff is happening, and JuiceBox is my passion project; I write for this band and it’s very important to me. So I’m trying to go where the wind blows me, but I’m still involved in all of these things which is ideally what I want. It’s a limbo moment.
MR: What influences have Brooklyn and Manhattan had on your music?
JE: The vibes from across the river and in Brooklyn are very different, but you can find a lot of the same things in both places. I’d say every time we play a Brooklyn show, we’re playing to a lot of really excited young people, which is what we love to do. People who are either just out of school, still in school, or ten years out of school. And sometimes when we play Manhattan, especially at more dinner club vibes, that’s definitely an older crowd sitting and grooving to the music, which we love equally as much. But it is a much different vibe and we bring a different energy…not that we bring a different energy, but there’s a different energy in the room when we play those opposing shows.
MR: Where to do you feel jazz is going?
JE: Honestly, I don’t know. Modern jazz is modern jazz and that will be a thing that’s happening. I listened to a lot of it years ago, and my personal taste has taken me elsewhere. I’m sure I’ll come back to it, but there’s an interesting resurgence of hot jazz and that kind of thing in New York City. People love that, and there’s tons of it.
MR: Does it feel like your career is coming at you quickly now?
JE: It’s kind of an illusion; it feels like that, but it’s not necessarily the case. I’ll wake up every day and think, “Okay, same thing,” and I never think it’s going to be a thing where I wake up and something’s different. But as I said, a lot of things are on hold, so it seems like I’m just in a crazy place.
MR: You also have a wonderfully talented musical sister, Taylor Leigh Eblen, right?
JE: [laughs] I do. She’s currently working on her teaching degree at Queens College. She’s doing really well, she loves teaching and working with kids.
MR: Does she ever jam with you?
JE: Most recently, we’ve just been working on music together. She has to learn a lot of percussion and other instruments for her classes. She has to be able to do everything at least a little bit, so I’ve been working with her on percussion stuff, so we haven’t really had time just to jam recently.
MR: Do you think that may be coming down the pike at some point? The Eblen assault on the music world?
JE: Definitely. I’d love to collaborate with her and record some stuff.
MR: What’s your advice for new artists?
JE: It depends on where you are. I’m very New York City-minded right now, but I’d say to just keep on keeping on. That’s my thing, because you go through very different phases, highs and lows, and you have to be as stable as you can be and still enjoy every moment of it.
MR: Stable as in trying to have a stable life?
JE: Stable as in not letting what you do affect how you live. If things aren’t going well, then not treating that as an excuse to not live healthily.
MR: Nice. Speaking of living healthily, rumor has it you currently are living in an apartment with about ten people…
JE: [laughs] I’d say during the weekdays, it’s five and during the weekends, it’s twelve. We have a lot of people coming through this apartment–people from Boston, people from Philly, etc.; friends to play music. It’s crazy but it’s really fun. So yes, I currently live with four other guys also doing music and writing-relating adventures.
MR: Has the environment evolved into a workshop?
JE: Yes, in a lot of ways. Everyone’s been picking up the sticks recently and we have drum circles, and people listen to other people’s songs and we learn and play them, so it’s a pretty cool vibe we’ve got going on here.
MR: We spoke about Manhattan and Brooklyn, but you’ve been a bit of a globetrotter, as well. Is it a goal to play more places in the world?
JE: Oh, definitely. That’s a major goal for me. That’s my motivation for all of this, the motivation to travel. I love doing that and playing music abroad and experiencing different cultures, through music especially. I find that sharing that experience with any audience is pretty universal, but it’s also different in each place you go, and that I love. JuiceBox went to Italy twice now, and both times were so incredible.
MR: How do you picture yourself five years from now?
JE: That’s a tough question. I’m loving living in New York City right now, but I would say that with how expensive things are here, I would need to be at the next level musically, gigging and all that, just to be able to live comfortably. And going back to L.A. isn’t really a thing I want. In five years I want to be here but also traveling. I’d love that. Spending a little time in New York and a lot of time somewhere else, and using New York as a launching pad. Traveling the US is something I’d really like to do, too, because I haven’t done a lot of it.
MR: Think you might be working on any sort of father/son project with your dad?
JE: There’s been nothing talked about, but that sounds awesome. I’d definitely be down to record some drums. We’ve jammed and worked on music in the past, but nothing is officially documented, and that is something to be done.