GIVING THANKS: For Giving Tuesday, the nonprofit Dress for Success has rounded up some designer and apparel companies like Bruno Magli, Altuzarra and Project Gravitas to promote its worldwide work.
Committed to helping women reach economic independence, the group has created the #DFSPowerPiece social media campaign and microsite to encourage donations. In addition to the aforementioned three brands, Christian Dior Makeup, Peruvian Connection, Rent the Runway, Sorel and Wander Beauty are involved in this year’s effort. Each is selling an item for the initiative where some of the proceeds will benefit Dress For Success. Magli’s selection is the Gala sued pump, Altuzarra’s pick is the Pencil Skirt and Christian Dior Makeup’s choice is the Ultra Rouge 999 Lipstick.
In years past, the group marked the annual post-Thanksgiving event as “Giving Shoesday,” where people were encouraged to donate shoes to the organization. Chied executive officer Joi Gordon said that this is the first time the group is working with multiple brands that will have dedicated items to help ring up sales for Dress For Success. Some of the participating brands are regular donors to DFS.
“This will obviously be driven by not only the brands, but also our database and social media. We’re excited
Fashion designers can take heart knowing that McKinsey Design’s report “The Business Value of Design” shows that the “best design performers increase their revenues and shareholder returns at nearly twice the rate of their industry counterparts.”
After five years of research and interviews with 300 global, publicly listed companies, the results are in. The McKinsey Design Index stressed four key areas — starting with C-suite executives taking an analytical approach to design by keeping track and leading companies’ design performance with the same amount of gusto they do for revenues and costs.
The next area regarded making the user experience paramount by keeping things fluid within physical products, services, digital interactions and other sectors. The third area concerned supporting top design talent and empowering them with cross–functional teams “that take collective accountability for improving the user experience,” the report said. Lastly, the fourth area was about continuous iteration; design work doesn’t end with launches — companies need to keep at it — testing, incorporating user insights and creating multiple versions, according to the study. (Think Apple watch, which was not a one-and-done endeavor.)
The recognizable red Swiss Army Knife, Google’s home page and the Disneyland experience were singled out as “reminders of the
FUN IN THE SUN: The BCBG brands, which last month saw the opening of the second Manhattan BCBG Max Azria store in SoHo, is getting ready to introduce new sunglasses lines.
The lines, in collaboration with Allure Eyewear, will be available under the BCBG Max Azria and BCBGeneration labels. The BCBGeneration collection, available during holiday 2018, features playful pastels showcasing a bohemian West Coast vibe that targets the Millennial consumer. The older sister line, available in spring 2019, has bold and edgy silhouettes — from cat-eyes to slim and chunky styles — that are more in line with the fashion-forward aesthetics of the BCBG Max Azria collection.
Steve Clarke, president of Allure Eyewear, said the looks will have the “design sensibility” that represents the modern romantic spirit of BCBG.
BCBG has an ongoing agreement with ClearVision to produce the optical collections for both brands.
Brand management firm Marquee Brands acquired BCBG’s intellectual property as part of the fashion company’s exit from bankruptcy proceedings in July 2017. In repositioning the lifestyle brand, Marquee moved quickly to expand the offerings for footwear, jewelry and cold weather accessories. On the horizon is a small curated selection of beauty products for BCBGeneration. The line for lips, eyes and nails are
Pinstripes, puffers and repp ties remain part of the picture in men’s wear today as revisited essentials — including preppy and utility ones — challenge streetwear’s dominance. Here, 3.1 Phillip Lim’s pinched nylon coat, Versace’s wool blazer, Band of Outsiders’ cotton shirt and Lanvin’s leather pants.
Photographs by Tetsu Kubota; Styled by Alex Badia; Models: Austen Planes at Click Models, PK Holdbrook-Smith at Red Model Management; Groomed by Yukiko Tajima using Oribe at See Management; Casting: Edward Kim at The Edit Desk; Market Editor: Luis Campuzano; Fashion Assistant: Victor Vaughns
If anyone still doubts the staying power of Kendall and Kylie Jenner, the two youngest members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan have hit a milestone that many other brands have struggled to reach amid the troubled retail climate.
“We have a few years now under our belt and definitely feel like we’ve hit our stride,” said Kylie, 19, who earned the distinction of being the youngest person on Forbes’ latest ranking of the highest-paid celebrities in the world, with earnings of $ 41 million. Kendall, 21, is currently one of the top-earning models, according to Forbes, with earnings of $ 10 million in 2016 included in her estimated $ 36 million net worth.
Kendall Jenner wearing a look from Kendall + Kylie summer.
The contemporary line Kendall + Kylie was launched two years ago this month and wholesales to 390 doors in the U.S. and 975 worldwide, including Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale’s, Shopbop, Revolve, Selfridges, Printemps, I.T. Hong Kong and Luisa Via Roma. Retail prices range from $ 50 to $ 495, with the majority of pieces selling for under $ 195.
Last year the sisters introduced an #OnlyatNM capsule collection and have also expanded into handbags and eyewear since their
“Dear White People,” the new Netflix series based on the film of the same name, has become one of the most talked about new shows this year.
The series, created by Justin Simien, takes a humorous and unflinching look at racial politics by following the lives of several black students at a fictional and predominantly white Ivy League school.
The show has sparked some interesting conversations about issues like blackface, interracial dating, colorism, and police brutality, to name a few. All of these issues are brought forth through amazingly witty, sharp, and perceptive writing, making for some of the best one-liners on any screen in years. Below, we’ve compiled some of the funniest, most poignant, perceptive and downright brilliant lines from the show’s first season. Check it out (spoiler alert):
1. SAM: Dear white people, here’s a little tip: When you ask someone who looks ethnically different ‘what are you?’ the answer is usually a person about to slap the shit out of you.” (Ep. 1)
2. JOELLE: You’re not Rashida Jones biracial, you’re Tracee Ellis Ross biracial ― people think of you as black! (Ep. 1)
3. NARRATOR: Ah, the racially insensitive party. A mainstay of primarily white institutions since time immemorial. A chance for the white majority to celebrate marginalized communities by reinforcing the very stereotypes that oppress them. (Ep. 2)
4. SAM: I like my men like I like my coffee ― full-bodied and preferably with Kenyan origins. (Ep. 4)
5. COCO: Dear white people, having a black vibrator does not count as an interracial relationship. (Ep. 4)
6. SAM: Equal? You could only vote if you owned land and didn’t have a vagina. (Ep. 5)
7. JOELLE: Sometimes being carefree and black is an act of revolution. (Ep. 5)
8. REGGIE: I plan on marrying me a dark-skinned sister; have the ashiest black babies possible. (Ep. 5)
9. SAM: Dear white people, our skin color is not a weapon. You don’t have to be afraid of it. (Ep. 6)
10. COCO: As soon as you double down on your blackness, they will double down on their bullshit… Who cares if you’re woke or not if you’re dead? (Ep. 6)
11. REGGIE: Gun in my face, your hate misplace, light-skinned, white skin but for me not the right skin. (Ep. 6)
12. REGGIE: Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For some of us maybe. There’s nothing self-evident about it. (Ep. 6)
13. SAM: The whole movement is about pain. That’s why we’re out in these streets. (Ep. 6)
14. SAM: We’re going to bring together every marginalized group on this campus and demand a protest! (Ep. 7)
15. COCO: I like him black, actually black as hell and unapologetic about it. (Ep. 7)
16. NARRATOR: If only the real world had a block button. (Ep. 8)
17. TROY: So you didn’t have a man around to show you what’s what?
LIONEL: Yup. Which is why I chose to be gay… kidding. That’s not how it works. (Ep. 8)
18. NEIKA: You’re here to show that not all black students want to burn this place down. You’re props. (Ep. 9)
19. SAM: Troy’s got you drinking his Kool-Aid… or his daddy’s Kool-Aid. But guess what? I ain’t thirsty, girl. (Ep. 9)
20. COCO: I’m smarter than you. I’m more ambitious than you. Thirty years from now when I am the second black female president, all you’ll be able to do is think about me and I won’t remember your name. (Ep. 9)
21. SAM: Have you been to a Winchester townhall? They’re so regimented even Kim Jung Un’s like ‘guys, chill, let somebody talk.’ (Ep. 10)
22. SAM: So because I call it out, racism is my fault?!
23. KURT: The truth is, you like things to be fucked up so you can have a machine to rage against, Sharpton.
SAM: None of this is a threat to you because you already have the power, Kurt. Can’t you see that? (Ep. 10)
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DESIGNER DISASSEMBLAGE: The unlikely consortium of the Boston-based company ’47, Pratt Institute, Rochambeau designers Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler and musician-model Aluna Francis will be joining forces on April 27 at National Sawdust.
The fashion show in Brooklyn will be the cap-off event for the unprecedented “47 Redesign” course, which challenged Pratt students to deconstruct New York Yankees baseball hats, NFL hoodies and other ’47 dead stock to reimagine them. The aspiring designers had their work cut out for them re-creating the ’47 apparel and accessories as their own. With the help of Cooper and Chandler, five finalists got the nod to present micro-collections later this month. Francis, who has modeled for Alexander Wang and performs with AlunaGeorge, will be lending a critical eye.
How Cooper and Chandler wound up working on the Pratt project is a story in itself. A few years, ago during their CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund days, they wanted to work with the Swet Shop Boys’ Riz MC, who is now more widely known as Rizwan Ahmed, the actor behind HBO’s “The Night Of.” While designing looks for the Swet Shop Boys’ upcoming tour, the designers met his bandmate Heems, who works with the production company behind the Pratt
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Asos is expanding its men’s size assortment.
The U.K.-based e-commerce retailer will now offer extended sizes for men, ranging from XXXL to XXXXXL, and tall products that have more length in the body and sleeves to accommodate customers who are 6 feet, 3 inches and up.
Asos will produce its own private label pieces in big and tall sizes and will offer up to 20 brands, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Noose & Monkey, Wrangler and Burton, that also manufacture larger sized items for men.
Nick Eley, head of men’s wear design at Asos, said that similar to its women’s plus-size and tall categories, which he said have been very successful for the company, the men’s pieces will be on-trend and no different from the core, popular pieces in the main range.
“We wanted the customer to have fashionable product to choose from,” Eley said.
So far, Eley said the largest sizes in the big and tall category are selling, meaning there’s room for the range of sizes to grow. But challenges have sprouted up. For example, Eley said there is a lack of men’s brands producing trendy items in plus sizes. Eley said it’s also hard to find models to wear these pieces since many agencies don’t have
This is book #4 of The Seduction Force Multiplier Series. In this book, specific routines or scripts have been made focusing on the most common scenarios facing the PUAs. These are specific game recipes exactly made covering that particular environment or situation! From opening to mid-game, everything is handed to you. You’ll know exactly what to say and what to do in every scenario. Its almost gaming in autopilot! Imagine the sense of comfort and predictability of success if every situation and scenario is mapped out for you?You’ll hardly get caught off guard again! This book does that and more! It also contains a special section to teach you to memorize/internalize the material herein. What good is having PUA scripts and routines when you can’t use them?This book will teach you how! Table of ContentsI – How it worksScripting situationsIncreasing confidence through competenceOpening to middle gameHow to internalize the materialsFalse Time Constraint ExampleDrillsII Scenario ScriptsBiking/RollerbladingGirl playing on her mobileMassage/Spa placeElevatorEscalatorComputer storeCell phone shopSets are separated with a glass windowSkin clinicWatch StoreSight seeingJewelry storeShopping at the groceryFalling in line at a diner/restaurantSeated inside the bankHired gunsGirl with a subordinate or equal co-workerGirl with brother or sister. Girl with younger sibling or childGirl with a friend or classmate. Girl with bossGirl with parents or grandparent(s)Street PartyBeach PartyBowlingIts RainingJob FairGirls Playing SportsGardeningPlaying at the ArcadeLine outside the ATMLine at a groceryCar shopLibraryLobby of a hotelWaiting for the car from the parking or valet. Trying to hail a cabStudents out of schoolGirl in a kiddie playground or daycare. At the parkBrisk walkingInvolving flowersGirls looking for something or someoneGirl at a hardware store. Girl buying a recordable DVDGirls taking picturesThey are taking the picturesGirls browsing a clothing storeBathroomsAt the cinemaGift shopG
The Roxy Alright backpack is built from durable 100% polyester and features an all-over Roxy print. 3 main compartments including a padded laptop sleeve, 2 side zipped pockets, and padded shoulder straps complete the design. It measures 18″ x 13″ x 6″.
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GAPS TAKES A SHOT: Gap Inc. is the latest fashion brand to line up a location in Brooklyn’s sprawling Industry City, a 16-building, six million square-foot complex on the waterfront in Sunset Park.
The retailer has secured a 20,000-square-foot space for a photo and design studio. Creative types will shoot products and finesse marketing materials beneath 13-foot ceilings. The 10-year lease was finalized last month by CBRE Group’s Eric Deutsch and Jason Pollen working on behalf of the San Francisco-based chain and Industry City’s Jeff Fein. Gap executives did not respond immediately for comment Wednesday.
Gap will be joining such other tenants as Malia Mills, Material Wrld, The Line, West Elm, Design Within Reach, AbelCine, David Stark Design and Production and Ball & Buck. The new Gap studio is one of the larger deals of late. In December, Time Inc. moved 300 staffers in its technology, content solutions and editorial innovation departments to a 55,000-square-foot Industry City space. Biotech company Suneris is expanding into a 35,000-square-foot space in the complex.
Approaching its three-year anniversary as an innovative economic hub, Industry City has more than doubled the number of jobs there to 4,100 since its overhaul. The Belvedere Capital and Jamestown-owned property has leased
The final two books in the emotional BLURRED LINES series are available in one set from New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy. MEANT FOR ME A future gone off the rails… Since Ethan Walsh realized his fiancé was in love with another guy, his life has been spiraling out of control. He’s spent the last eighteen months drinking too much, hooking up with random girls, and flunking out of law school. When his sister Aubrey has a baby, he goes to visit her on the remote island off the coast of Maine, expecting it to be awkward. A past that haunts the present… What he isn’t expecting is Aubrey’s neighbor to be a beautiful and aloof blonde, Chloe, whose piano playing lulls him to sleep every night. He wants to talk to her, get to know her, kiss her. But Chloe doesn’t speak, and no one knows why. So Ethan makes it his mission to learn the truth and instead falls in love with her smile, her music, her notes and texts to him. Helping Chloe feel safe enough to open up is actually healing him, but what happens when the darkness of reality threatens to destroy their new life? And a love that doesn’t need words, only the heart… BREATHE ME IN Never wanted… Anya Volkov was adopted from Russia as a child, only to be rejected a year later, deemed difficult. After a lifetime of bouncing from foster home to foster home Anya is living in the East Village and scraping by playing gigs in small clubs, and facing eviction. She’ll do whatever it takes to keep a roof over the head of herself and her one year old son. Including making nice with the twin she doesn’t remember and stealing baby food from a grocery store. Always needed… Kane Dermott doesn’t want to bust the pierced and sexy woman stealing at the grocery but neither does he want to help her or believe her sob story. Being a cop and the oldest of six siblings with a single mom, he’s always the one doing the right thing. The one everyone depends on. The good guy. For once he just wants to have some fun with the hot girl, and
The men’s market is in a relaxed mood.
With sales picking up in the second half and some popular items for fall already emerging, retailers shopping the trade shows in Las Vegas were feeling little stress.
Adding to the optimism were the spring fashion trends of colorful swimwear, comfortable ath-leisurewear and nautical influences in everything from outerwear to accessories. The marriage of function and fashion was also a key market mover, with merchants embracing utilitarian detailing in garments that also sported performance attributes.
RELATED STORY: Trendsetters From the Las Vegas Trade Shows >>
“Men’s fashion moves at a glacial pace,” said Patty Leto, senior vice president of merchandising for the Doneger Group. But that pace is quickening as the male consumers’ desire for fashion heats up, she added. Driving the men’s wear acceleration, she said, was the influence of beachwear, ath-leisure and the continued demand for performance.
Key volume drivers for the season, according to the Doneger team, include graphic Ts, printed tank tops, unconstructed sport coats, flat-front shorts, joggers, true activewear and printed swimwear.
Tommy Fazio, president of Project, said the two biggest categories at this market were swimwear and the “whole California lifestyle. Those are the big growth opportunities.”
David Mihalko, divisional merchandise manager of men’s
PARIS — Emanuel Ungaro is ramping up its presence in men’s wear, inking licenses with Italian partners for clothing and sportswear in the “premium contemporary” category, and for leather goods.
Principe SpA, based in Varese, is to produce and distribute men’s leather products — including bags, small leather goods, belts and gloves — in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, CIS countries, Taiwan, Hong Kong and southeast Asia, starting with the fall 2016 season.
Alea Fashion Industries SpA, based in Savignano sul Rubicone, is to distribute the apparel collection in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South America. Parts of the debut spring 2016 collection were presented at the Pitti Uomo trade show in Florence last month.
The fashions range from suits in the “sartorial” spirit to uptown sportswear. Wholesale prices range from 230 euros to 360 euros for suits; 180 euros to 250 euros, or $ 198 to $ 275, for jackets; 65 euros to 90 euros, or $ 71 to $ 100, for trousers; 40 euros to 55 euros, or $ 45 to $ 60, for shirts and 60 euros to 90 euros, or $ 66 to $ 100, for sweaters.
Both collections are to bear the Ungaro label, and be designed in Paris by the Emanuel Ungaro design
The most devoted Fifty Shades fans know that today (June 18) is Christian Grey's birthday, and that means it is also the arrival of Grey, E.L. James' latest installment in the Fifty Shades series—but told…
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Dear Fellow Knitter, Welcome Come on in. Have a seat–we’ve been waiting for you. Ever since our first book, "Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters’ Guide," we’ve been exploring techniques and ideas that we once thought were the sort of thing that only brilliant knitters could do. Our conclusion: We are all brilliant knitters None of this is rocket science If you can knit a garter stitch scarf, you’ve figured out the hard part. Now it’s time for the fun to start. You hold in your hands the result of our odyssey. It’s a new collection of 30 delicious projects that we hope will take you on your own knitting adventures. Decorating Yourself: A collection of beautiful things to make for your most demanding (and forgiving) client. The Fairest Isle of All: A simple, quick introduction to a sort of knitting you may not have considered, with surprising, modern projects. Covering the Small Human: Pint-sized knits, including baby hats, dreamy dresses, and a cool pullover for the ultimate challenge: the Older Child. Occasional Knitting: Projects for the special occasions in life–holidays, housewarmings, picnics. The Sophisticated Kitchen: New uses for one of our favorite yarns: kitchen cotton. We have filled this book with luscious photographs, stories, tips, rules, and hints. You’ll read how we arrived at these projects and the discoveries we have made along the way, and you will discover shocking things about us. At all times, we have kept in mind Mason-Dixon Knitting Rule Number 1: Knitting is spoze to be fun. Fasten your seatbelt–it’s going to be a fabulous ride Love, Kay and Ann
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Dear Fellow Knitter,Welcome! Come on in. Have a seat—we’ve been waiting for you.Ever since our first book, Mason-Dixon Knitting: The Curious Knitters’ Guide, we’ve been exploring techniques and ideas that we once thought were the sort of thing that only brilliant knitters could do.Our conclusion: We are all brilliant knitters! None of this is rocket science! If you can knit a garter stitch scarf, you’ve figured out the hard part. Now it’s time for the fun to start. You hold in your hands the result of our odyssey. It’s a new collection of 30 delicious projects that we hope will take you on your own knitting adventures.Decorating Yourself: A collection of beautiful things to make for your most demanding (and forgiving) client.The Fairest Isle of All: A simple, quick introduction to a sort of knitting you may not have considered, with surprising, modern projects.Covering the Small Human: Pint-sized knits, including baby hats, dreamy dresses, and a cool pullover for the ultimate challenge: the Older Child.Occasional Knitting: Projects for the special occasions in life—holidays, housewarmings, picnics.The Sophisticated Kitchen: New uses for one of our favorite yarns: kitchen cotton.We have filled this book with luscious photographs, stories, tips, rules, and hints. You’ll read how we arrived at these projects and the discoveries we have made along the way, and you will discover shocking things about us.At all times, we have kept in mind Mason-Dixon Knitting Rule Number 1 : Knitting is spoze to be fun. Fasten your seatbelt—it’s going to be a fabulous ride!Love,Kay and Ann
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Cruising is a happy adventure that most of you would like to spend with their family. You will allocate a particular budget for cruising and would like to make it within that. You will be offered food, accommodation and transportation to the shore excursions by the cruising companies. If you pay for all inclusive packages, you will not have to pay anything extra.
GOODNIGHT MOONSHINE’S “DARK SIDE OF THE RAINBOW” MASHES PINK FLOYD WITH THE WIZARD OF OZ
photo courtesy of Seth Cohen PR
The video of the song “Dark Side of the Rainbow” is a mashup of Pink Floyd’s “Time” from Dark Side of the Moon, and “Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. Their aim is to pull back the curtain not only the urban legend of the Pink Floyd album but also to reveal the tension that often exists within a new marriage.
According to Eben Pariser…
“The whole thing emerged from the 90s phenomenon of syncing The Wizard of Oz movie to the Dark Side of the Moon album, and all the speculation that the coincidences were way too precise for Pink Floyd to not be in on it, especially since they were making movie soundtracks at the time. When I was 16 (after allegedly indulging in the stoner-sport of syncing the film to the album,) I spontaneously realized that ‘Time’ was in fact a perfect reharmonization of ‘Over The Rainbow’–but it took me 16 more years to find the right vehicle to record and perform the mashup, in my lovely wife Molly and our collaboration, Goodnight Moonshine.'”
According to Molly Ventor…
“We set out wanting to convince people that Pink Floyd intentionally synched the album to The Wizard of Oz. During the filming, we realized how closely the 2 sets of lyrics paralleled the different sides of a longstanding philosophical argument we’d been having; Venter believing that much in life is out of one’s control and that we must remain hopeful and optimistic, Pariser believing more in the power of individual will and action, and that missed opportunities are one’s own fault. Through the taping we recognized we were each trying to convince the other of our own life perspective. The video captures how painful that endeavor is. We’re a newlywed couple, letting you in on our life together through our music. All the good stuff, but also the dark stuff, challenging stuff–the stuff that often goes unsaid. No kitsch. And largely positive and healing through the revelation that we are at the core, just normal folks trying to make a marriage work. A positive loving relationship, and a deeply artistic and somewhat daring one.”
For more on : http://www.goodnightmoonshine.com
A Conversation with Billy Bob Thornton
Mike Ragogna: Billy, your group The Boxmasters has been working on its double CD Somewhere Down The Road for a while now. How does The Boxmasters hit you these days as opposed to when you were just starting out with the group?
Billy Bob Thornton: In the beginning, we didn’t really know how long it would last. It was kind of like a side project for my solo stuff. We thought we’d make that record and maybe another one and that would be it. It began as a sort of stylized thing. We were experimenting with a combination of British Invasion and hillbilly music and putting them together and wearing the suits in tribute to the sixties, which is the era we love. The first two or three records were almost like art projects. Like I said, they were very stylized. If you remember the first Boxmasters record, it had transitional music, so it never stopped. We put an extra CD of covers in each record as a bonus, songs we loved and that inspired and influenced us.
After those records were done and we parted ways with Vanguard Records, we thought we’d gone as far as we could. Then all of a sudden, we just started writing songs and playing the way we naturally sound as opposed to trying for a specific thing. On the first record, we were doing Mott The Hoople, The Beatles, The Byrds and singing it like David Allan Coe. Then JD and Brad and I started writing these songs and we just played them the way we naturally sound. As it turns out, the reason we made this new record a double is because we sound like two things. We have that moody sort of dark, atmospheric sound, and then we have this very late sixties LA country rock sound in the vein of The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Burrito Brothers, with some influence of Petty and people like that. We discovered that that’s who we really are. We’ve written probably two or three hundred songs that aren’t even on records; we’ve got five or six songs that have already been mastered that aren’t out. We’re just going to sell those records on the website because we’ve got so many. That sound on Somewhere Down The Road–on the first side especially–is kind of what those other songs sound like. We’ve kind of finally settled into that.
MR: Do you feel like you guys reached this point creatively because of what’s going on in your personal lives? Maybe you’ve “matured” in some ways, if that’s the right word?
BT: I think that’s a good word for it. We have matured as songwriters, musicians, singers, everything. I think you can’t help doing something for so long that you’re just going to get better. We’ve gotten better over the years. I think we have more confidence. We know we can write songs and we know we can write songs that people can respond to as opposed to whatever weird stuff is in our head that we experiment with. I think we have definitely matured. I think recording is probably my favorite thing to do in music. We love playing live, that’s a great thing, but being in the recording studio is such a part of our souls and so natural to us. I love acting, I love doing movies and I love music, I love them all equally, but I think I only like the process of actually doing the stuff. I love the process of recording, I love the process of doing movies as an actor, I just don’t like all the other junk that’s involved with it. So maybe in the recording studio, you just feel exempt from everything when you’re in there. It’s like you’re hidden in a cave somewhere alone doing what you’re feeling in the moment. I guess that’s why we recorded so many songs; we just keep going. Even ones that aren’t intended to come out maybe. We get an idea for a song that probably isn’t commercially viable but we record it anyway because we want to.
MR: The process is more important than an end result. How is your creative expression different or the same in the fields of acting and music?
BT: They both really do feed my soul. Not only are they both very cathartic–I know that word is probably very overused but they truly are–but I just love the artistry of both. The thing is you get to experience what’s in your mind in different ways. It feels the same inside, it’s just as good both ways, but you get to experience your art in a different way. But to me, they’re really the same thing, just expressed in different ways. I never expected to become and actor of any stature. It just kind of happened. Because of that I always approach things this way: I’d rather have a hundred or two hundred really hardcore fans than millions of fans who just treat it like anything else and you get slagged off half the time and some of them are sort of interested or some hate it and some like it. It’s that end result thing you were talking about. I don’t do anything with that in mind. I never expect that we’re going to have a hit and I don’t particularly care if we do. It would be wonderful, but that’s not why we do it. That’s not why I do anything in movies either.
MR: You talked about fans who would really “get” what you put out. Can you identify what that kind of fan is, what your core fans love about The Boxmasters?
BT: Generally, our fans are people who like an eclectic mix of things. They’re people who aren’t diehard rock ‘n’ roll fans or die hard country fans, it’s kind of hard to identify our music and I think it’s kind of hard to identify our fans. We tend to have fans that are either forties and fifties and up or twenty year-olds. It’s sort of that middle range in there, people from thirty to forty, I don’t think we have as many of them for some reason. That could be because of whatever time they grew up in. I think maybe people in that age range were sort of spoon fed a particular fashion statement and things were put in boxes more when those people were growing up, whereas when I was growing up everything was very eclectic. I listened to Hank Williams and The Mothers Of Invention in the same day, and the radio would play James Taylor and Black Sabbath on the same station.
I think maybe the reason we have some younger fans is because that’s sort of starting to come back around. A lot of people are really down on music right now, but I see that even sometimes people of my generation are the ones trying to fit into a mold more and more. You see guys who were singing Vietnam protest songs and now they’re on the cover of a magazine doing a duet with a pop star so they can remain current. I’m finding that some of the guys in the younger bands are real fans of The Boxmasters because they themselves are looking for their thing like we were in the sixties. So when they hear something slightly off the beaten path they really dig it. I actually have hope for music right now. I really do. I didn’t before. Everybody knows the eighties was kind of a bizarre generation. The nineties had a little resurgence but then it kind of went away for a decade or so, but I think it’s really coming back. People are looking for different things. People are listening to certain metal bands as well as Mumford and Sons or the Old Crow Medicine Show, people like that. I think it’s on an upswing. Also young kids, say teenagers up until young twenties, are discovering The Beatles and Buffalo Springfield and Aerosmith and whoever it was along the way. There are plenty of twenty year olds who listen to Deep Purple and Zeppelin and The Who and everything like that.
MR: Since you’re a pretty solid music expert, doesn’t understanding what went into making classic, high-quality albums make the process a bit intimidating for you? Like how do you balance striving for that caliber while just expressing yourself and letting creativity flow?
BT: I think it’s two things. One is never forgetting history. Never forget that history of all the great classic albums over the years, letting them influence you and not being ashamed to say, “Yeah, absolutely, we were trying to be The Beatles” or The Stones or The Animals or whatever, that’s our desire. The bar was set very high for people of my generation. We all wanted to be The Beatles and we knew we were never going to be, that it was going to be impossible. You’re always reaching for an impossible goal, so you never get lazy about it. You’re always striving and you’re always desperate for acceptance and approval and everything. When the bar has been set that high you just never stop trying. At the same time, a good part of that is you have such great music and songwriting to draw from, you let it wash over you and influence you.
The second part is that you have to remain open to new things. We’re not trying to just copy old stuff that we love. We’re knot like that. We’re truly not the old guys chasing the kids out of the yard. We really do respect the evolution of music. I think you have to be open, resect the evolution of music and at the same time hold on to your history. You put those two things together and it’s very satisfying to you. Whether anybody is going to respond to it or not, that’s up to them. We have no control over it, but for us, if we accomplish those things, always striving to get better, always striving to be open to new possibilities and yet never letting our history die in our minds, the best of you comes out and you know at the end of the day that you’re not leaving any stone unturned. It’s very satisfying.
MR: These two CDs represent a fraction of the songs that you’ve recorded. So what was the assembly process like that led to this particular album?
BT: We were writing new songs to make an album, but when you’re writing songs, one day you may not feel a song that’s in that vein, so you write something else. It’s like, “Well, that doesn’t belong here. I love the song but it just doesn’t belong in this particular group of songs that we started.” So we took the maybe twenty or so songs that we had that were new and said, “Wow, we’ve only got five of these jangly, Byrds-like LA rock songs and we’ve got seven of these moody things. That doesn’t make one album.” So we went back into some of the songs we’d written before. I think the earliest ones on this record are from 2010. There were two or three of those that exactly fit what we were doing now. We had started writing this whole record of very sixties-like songs using a Farfisa Vox Continental Organ, and we said, “You know what? If that organ was a B3 instead those songs would totally fit this record.” So we had Teddy Andreadis, our keyboard player, just come over and replace the Farfisa with a B3 and suddenly they belonged on the album. Once we got those songs together, the label people, Mark and Tammy Collie who signed us to 101 Ranch Records, had certain favorites that were in the moodier side. We side, “Gosh, we don’t want to put out just a moody record right now because we want people to hear these pop rock songs. Let’s ask them if we can do a double album.” They were all for it. I guess, as they say, it was no skin off their nose. We ended up saying, “Well look, these are the songs we love; let’s just make two records.”
So we wrote new songs and collected ones from other recording sessions that just fit and ended up with the two records we really wanted. The other five or six records that we had finished we didn’t want to break up because they fit together too. There are songs from all of those records that could’ve gone on this, and as a matter of fact some songs where we were like, “I wish we could put this on here, it really fits,” but we didn’t want to break those records up. As a result, we ended up saying, “We’ll sell those on the website at a later time.” We do have a real nice cult following, people who really love us. There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re great. We thought, “What we’ll do is we’ll even maybe put out five song or six song EPs of songs we don’t have enough of that style to make a whole record.” Some of them are even in demo form. We thought it might be interesting every now and then to put on the website a five song EP of songs that aren’t even finished, so people can hear what it’s like before, say, the lead guitar’s on there, or there’s no background vocals or something like that. Then later on, we’ll finish those and put them up finished.
MR: To me, the title track, “Somewhere Down The Road,” is the centerpiece of the album. For you, are there a couple of other tracks that are really important for the project?
BT: There’s a song on the first side called “This Game Is Over” which is a particular favorite of ours. On the moody side there’s a song called “What Did You Do Today?” which I think is what they’re putting out on Americana radio mainly and a song called “Somewhere” that we’re really in love with. It’s a very different-sounding song. It’s got a very different chord progression and I sing it slightly differently. But you love all your songs and you hope other people will, but sometimes you might have a favorite song that nobody else responds to and then you have another song where you say, “Eh, that’s kind of a standard song,” and everybody’s crazy about it. You never know. But “This Game Is Over,” a song called “Getting Past The Lullaby,” which I think is a beautiful song. Anybody who loves their mother is going to love that song.
MR: What do you feel about The Boxmasters’ legacy? When you look at this body of your work as well as the unreleased albums, what are your observations?
BT: I truly believe that if we had been twenty-five or thirty years old in 1968 or 1973, we would have been a huge band. I think we probably make music the way we do and with the passion that we do for thirty or forty years from now and not for today. I feel that someday, we will be an appreciated band, so I kind of look at it that way. We do it for ourselves and we do it the way we feel. We don’t craft anything tailor-made to be a hit, but I do believe that someday when people hear the thousand songs that we have I think some music geek is going to say, “Hey, you know what? I think these guys are worth their salt.”
MR: Billy, what advice do you have for new artists?
BT: I would say first and foremost learn the history. It’s like for you, as a journalist and as a writer, someone who is a fan but also makes a living at it, if you didn’t know who Walter Cronkite was, or Edward R. Murrow or Mark Twain or Jim Morrison or Chuck Berry was, if you weren’t real familiar with them, then you don’t have the education that it takes to truly be an artist. I would tell them, “Don’t just look at what’s shiny and bright in front of you right now. Always learn your history.” Also, if you’re a singer or a guitar player or whatever it is, even if your intention is to become famous doing whatever’s popular, if you’re content to let someone else write the songs and you just be the artist, I would say still write anyway. Even if you don’t intend to put it out there, even if you don’t feel it’s good, I think writing is an exercise that just makes you better whether it’s ever going to be seen or heard by the public or not. And write it from your heart and do it the way you feel it. Don’t try to copy anybody. Even if your life is going to be about copying and becoming popular and doing the current thing, I think it’s still important to create what you naturally create. I think it makes you better as a human being and as an artist.
MR: Excellent. Now what’s your advice to yourself?
BT: I think probably the number one best piece of advice for myself, and it’s so hard to do, is to ignore the comments of the now millions and millions of critics. Now with social networks everyone has an opinion and if you rub them the wrong way there’s not anything you can do about what they’re going to say. There’s seriously nothing you can do. So in other words, if they’ve got a bee up their ass about you, let’s say you say something stupid in public and it gets on the news, what an ass you are, if you apologize publicly, which has become a popular thing–“I’ll apologize to everyone”–they’ll say, “Oh, he only did that to help his career.” If you don’t apologize, then you’re an asshole for not apologizing. In other words, I’m trying to learn that there’s not a thing I can do about the people that hate me on the internet. Nothing.
As an artist, you’re sensitive by nature, and probably a little unbalanced, so it gets to you more. I’m trying to learn how to not let my oversensitive nature overtake me and make me stick my head back in the cave and not want to put myself out there. You have to do it. There are a lot of people out there who suffer from this. A lot of people have made comments like this throughout history but I think Jonathan Swift said something like, “…if what a certain writer observes be true, that when a great genius appears in the world, the dunces are all in confederacy against him.” I think you just have to get used to the fact that you’re doing what you love and what you feel and you are at least doing it, so anybody who’s willing to stick their neck out–and I don’t care if it’s the silliest part on the silliest sitcom out there or the deepest Marlon Brando performance out there–both of those people have something in common. Both of them were willing to try.
In that sense, you can’t separate anybody in the entertainment business, no matter if they’re a lightweight or real heavy. If you make a silly, syrupy pop record or you make some masterpiece like Dark Side Of The Moon, the one thing those two have in common is that they both put their necks out of the cave. They’re both willing to do something, so you end up being talked about by people who are not doing anything. We have to pay attention to the people who do, not the people who talk about the people who do. That’s the biggest lesson for me.
MR: Wow. So are you looking forward to the tour as a way to get your head fully back into music for a while?
BT: Yeah, I really am looking forward to it, especially since I’m going out with Brad and Teddy and J.D.. They’re my friends. I don’t have a lot of close friends, I have a lot of acquaintances, but I’m going to be out there on a bus with guys who are my friends and who I spend time with anyway. There’s a certain family camaraderie there. The only bad thing about touring is it’s not a good place for the kids, on the bus and everything. My daughter Bella is now ten. She’s going to be eleven in September and I’m going to miss her a lot. It’s thirty five days, but thirty five days when they’re ten is a big deal. That’s the hardest part of touring. On a movie, it’s different, we just got back from New Mexico and the family went with me because you’re in one spot. On this you just can’t do it. And we’re not spring chickens, either. It’s not like when we were younger. I used to rodeo and I could sleep in the front of a truck while some guy’s driving. It’s not like that anymore. We all try to take all of our vitamins and get ready to go.
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
A Conversation with The Boxmasters’ J.D. Andrew
Mike Ragogna: J.D.! You good?
JD Andrew: I’m good! I’m trying to shake the nerves of getting ready to go on tour. I haven’t had a tour where I left my kids for longer than four or five days, so that’s a little nerve wracking right now. Last time I didn’t have any kids when we went so I didn’t have to worry about it.
MR: What’s it like juggling your music duty and being a new dad?
J.D.: Most of the time it’s not too bad. Billy sold his house a couple of years ago, so we don’t have the studio in the house anymore, so we don’t work six days a week fifteen hours a day anymore. If I had the kids and we were still doing that schedule I would probably shoot myself. It’s a lot easier time now, we just go and record when we have some songs or have some time. It’s a lot more relaxing, especially when the kids don’t sleep at night.
MR: So this new album is a double CD, which is pretty ambitious. How did you approach this one? You recorded it progressively over the last few years, right?
J.D.: Mostly. This one was done mostly at Henson studios, some of it was done over at Billy’s house previously, but it started in about 2013 sometime. Brad and Billy wrote “This Game Is Over” and “Sometimes There’s A Reason.” I would call those two songs the touchstones for at least the first CD. They’re all original, both CDs. The first one is kind of more rock ‘n’ roll and jangly sixties country rock stuff and the second one is more of the moody singer-songwriter stuff, more like Billy’s Beautiful Door record, using his Warren Zevon influences and doing that sort of thing. I would say three quarters of this stuff was all done in the past two or three years. Some of it is from five years ago. When we initially met with 101 Ranch they were like, “Give us a record! We want to put it out.” We had so much back catalog material and records finished we initially started just picking songs from everything but we said, “We really want to keep these other records together and release those as they are at some point,” so we said, “Why don’t we just do a double record?” and the label went, “Sure, why not?” That was in some ways easier for us, to concentrate on two different sounds, the two different things that we do rather than figure out how to mix the two together.
MR: How has the band evolved sonically?
J.D.: The other projects were more hyper-stylized. We were really going for the combination of the early sixties/hillbilly/British invasion stuff. We made very definite guidelines on what were going to do, what we weren’t going to do, what equipment we would use, things like that. As we’ve evolved we’ve evolved into playing how we play naturally. It’s still got all of those sixties influences, it’s just a little more–I don’t even want to say “modern,” it’s just a little more relaxed in its stringency to those kinds of rules that we set before. It’s kind of jangly rock ‘n’ roll.
MR: So it’s like Boxmasters 2.0.?
J.D.: Yeah. Brad Davis is playing lead guitar on this stuff, we had another guy on those first couple of records. Not that they do a lot of things differently, it just is a version two. Brad Davis and Teddy Andreadis are now official Boxmaster members. We’re a four-piece as far as documentation goes. We’ve got six guys on the road. It’s just become more of a straight rock ‘n’ roll band at times with crazy moody psychedelic stuff in it.
MR: How are you going to perform this project on the road? And what have you learned from being on the road that you’re now applying to Boxmasters’ music?
J.D.: We’ve always kind of been a straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll band on the road. We sound big, we play loud. Right now it’s two electric guitars, an organ, a bass player, a drummer, and Billy’s out front and we just try to fill it up, but this time we are doing some shows at smaller venues where we’re going to do a slightly more stripped-down version of ourselves where there’s some acoustic guitars and some stools, which we’ve never really done before. We’re going to play some of these songs where we get more moody and slow.
MR: J.D., what have you found Billy’s favorite environment for a Boxmasters show to be?
J.D.: Billy wants a big show. He wants a place where we can have a good light show. Basically the thing he doesn’t want to do in any place, no matter how big or small, is he doesn’t want to look like a bar band. We work really hard on putting these shows together and we want that to come across. There’s lighting and projections and fun stuff going on, we want a sound system that will actually play above the band so it sounds big. When he does these really moody songs, he sings in his low register and he’s got a very resonant voice, so sometimes you need a system to get it to come out. When you’re kind of whispering it’s hard to get it out to the people.
MR: How about you? What are your favorite kinds of venues?
J.D.: My favorite places that we’ve played have been punk clubs. I like to sound like The Replacements live. Basically, “Let’s have a train wreck and have a lot of fun doing it!” At the same time, we want the songs to have starts and endings that actually start and end together and not just devolve into chaos. But I like them to all be faster than they probably should be, and louder and trashier. That’s just my personal preference. We’re a tight band, we’ve got really good players, it’s a lot of fun to play with the guys.
MR: Do you prefer recording or performing more?
J.D.: I have so much freedom in the recording process as far as how we sound. That’s what I do. That’s my initial hat that I think of. Playing live is fun, but then I have to worry about how fat I am and getting up in front of people and looking like a complete loser. That’s the part I worry about.
MR: When you’re recording are you considering having to play these songs live?
J.D.: No, we don’t tend to think about that at all. When we recorded most of these songs, it wasn’t until August or September of last year that we were really thinking of putting these together as a record. Anything we’ve recorded was just because we felt like recording it. Billy’s like, “As long as I can get in the studio every few weeks or once a month I’m fine. Otherwise, I lose my mind.” Everything is just recorded as we feel at the time. There’s no other outside influences like playing live or anything. The tempos are whatever is right for him to sing to and the rest of the instrumentation is mostly whatever our strengths are. I play the jangly stuff, Brad plays the fancy lead guitar stuff, Teddy does the keyboards and Billy’s the drummer, that’s it. Whatever fits whatever song is being done at that time is what we do.
MR: Do you have a couple of favorites on the project?
J.D.: I think every one of us would agree that “This Game Is Over” is one of our favorite songs, sonically, lyrically, vocally. It’s just really a great song. Another one of my favorites is “Somewhere Down The Road,” the last song and the title song of the record. That’s a song that was initially on another project we were kind of working out, kind of a concept record that we haven’t finished yet, so it just made sense that that song would go in this new batch. It’s one of the few songs that I actually remember writing. We wrote so many songs that I don’t remember the actual genesis of, but for some reason I remember when we wrote “Somewhere Down The Road” and how we did it. I’m trying to go down the list in my head. “Young Man’s Game” is my favorite one on the second side.
MR: I love that the concept of “sides” of a record has expanded into meaning two CDs.
J.D.: [laughs] Yeah.
MR: Which side would you listen to casually?
J.D.: I would probably drive to the first one and put the second one on at my house to do work. They’re just two different moods. The first one is much more of an exciting record for doing upbeat things and the other one’s a little more for doing introspective things.
MR: How has the writing experience evolved for you guys?
J.D.: We’ve done eight or ten songs since that record has been finished and we’re actually working more as a quartet on writing some of these songs. Most of the time, Billy will either have a chord or two that he’s plinked out on the guitar and maybe he has a lyric idea, he might have a whole lyric written. Some of the time, I have a whole track started or completely finished, other times I’ll just have some sort of riff idea. Really it comes from anything that gives us inspiration. It doesn’t take a lot, really, it’s just a couple of chords that make us perk up and go, “Hey, that’s something!” Then we’ll turn it into a song. Teddy brings all of his piano chords into the mix, so we’re trying to incorporate more of that along into what we do because it just gives it a little bit more different stuff. All that equals inspiration.
MR: Do you feel like the permanent addition of keyboard has shifted the focus of your approach?
J.D.: It’s not going to end up being a big sonic shift, it’s just anything that gives us an inspiration. Teddy can add a couple of different weird chords into things. That’s what we’re always going for, just evolving into more weird chords.
MR: Does Billy’s schedule as an actor ever conflict with the band’s schedule?
J.D.: He says, “Let’s tour in April” and that’s when we go. Any time we have something band-related that’s going on that’s important he just tells his film manager that this is what we’re going to do. It’s not a lucrative position for him, but a lot of times they can reschedule. We haven’t had to deal with that before, because he wasn’t making a lot of movie projects for quite a while, which gave us years of constant recording. This is the first time he might actually have a bunch of projects going on. We’ve all got stuff going on, Brad’s got his own studio in Texas, he’s got to take time to close the place down and postpone projects, and Teddy’s always on the road playing with someone. I hang out with my kids most of the time when I’m not working with Billy. It’s good.
MR: So this has evolved in a good way for you all, time-wise.
J.D.: Yeah, everybody has other things they do. It’s just a matter of, “Hey, are you available this time?” “Yeah, I am,” “Great, let’s get together and do something.” It’s not the other three of us sitting around and going, “Man, I can’t wait until we can tour again.” It’s whenever it’s good for all of us. We’re excited to make it all happen.
MR: J.D., what advice do you have for new artists?
JD: My advice is to not chase whatever trend is going on and try to sound like everyone else. Take the people you are inspired by and start digging into who inspired them, and then find out who inspired them. Get back to the root of the music that you love. It might surprise you as to what was the genesis for somebody else’s inspiration. I’m sure Billy will say this too–learn your history. There’s so much of it that’s being lost, we have to hold on to it and learn it and teach it to others. Use that history and use it to inspire you to make music that is personal to yourself and not just whatever the next hot thing is that’s going to get you on American Idol.
MR: Nice. Do you think that’s what people are taking away when they listen to a Boxmasters project?
J.D.: I hope so. They should know that it’s heavily influenced by the past. We’re trying to bring it to new audiences, especially with the older cover stuff. Bring it to new audiences who might say, “I really like that song by Webb Pierce, I want to go listen to more of that,” and then they go and find Del Reeves or Merle Haggard or The Boxtops or anybody like that. Find things that are inspiring and might lead them to new creative heights.
MR: Musically, is there anything out there that surprises you anymore?
J.D.: I constantly feel like an idiot because there’s so much stuff that I haven’t heard. I hang out with Brad and Billy and Teddy and they are insane in their knowledge. It makes me feel like I don’t know anything. It makes me feel like I have to be constantly learning and looking into doing other things so I don’t feel like a complete idiot. These guys know so much history, it’s inspiring. Everyone really is influenced at their core level by other things. Brad grew up as a bluegrasser, Teddy grew up more of a rock ‘n’ roll, R&B kind of guy, Detroit via New Jersey. I’m also a little bit younger than those guys, I started learning a little bit later than them. Even though I was years behind my time I haven’t caught up. I’ve still got a lot to learn.
MR: What kind of a legacy do you want The Boxmasters to have?
J.D.: Basically I want people to listen to the music and read the lyrics and see that there’s a whole lot going on. Some of it’s poppy, bouncy, good time-sounding stuff but there’s really deep thoughts and stories and things going on that are a lot deeper than they might think. I want people to know, “Hey, that’s Billy singing,” he really is a great vocalist, a great storyteller, and all those crazy girl harmonies that you’re hearing in there, that’s him, too. I think I’m the boring underneath stuff that’s not the stuff you listen to and go, “Wow, that’s fantastic,” but he does all the high stuff that I can’t even reach anyway. There’s a lot going on in these records even if it just sounds like some guys bashing away. And it’s all played, there’s not machines going on. This is all how they used to make records in the old days. That’s what we do. We don’t use tracks live, we just play songs. That’s why we crash and burn at times.
Transcribed by Galen Hawthorne
LINES WEST’S “PERFECT PAIR” EXCLUSIVE
photo credit: Ryker Kallas
According to Brian Larney…
“Lately, John and I have been talking a lot about some of the great songs of the late 60s and 70s a la Badfinger or Paul McCartney. The sound of those records and the song craft on them is just mind blowing. In every song there’s a killer hook! I had the idea of “Perfect Pair” kicking around for a while and it seemed to just beg for an arrangement that reflected our enthusiasm for that sound.”
Lyrically, it’s really about a pedestal and a plea. I can remember a few times finding myself in one of those -the quintessential unrequited situations yet I remain an optimist. The song ends with ‘I can take you anywhere. We’re two of a perfect pair’…I guess I’m just hopeless.”
DOUG BURR’S “NEVER GONNA BE YOUNG AGAIN” EXCLUSIVE
photo courtesy Tell All Your Friends PR
According to Doug Burr…
“We wanted this one to be jangly, Buddy Holly sounding. The music is kind of at odds with the story on this one–which is nothing new in the folk music world of course, the idea of a soldier living through war. Musically it stands out a bit on the record, but the subject matter was spot-on, and that song had received such strong audience response when playing it live. I’d been including that one in some live shows, since about 2012. So it felt like it needed to be a part of this record.”
Health care is third most important issue to Americans in fall elections, according to polls healthfinder.gov Daily News
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Pride is the kind of movie that is best seen without knowing its storyline going in. Because it delivers something quite different than you expect, based on the kind of movie it seems to be.
Even if you do know the plot (which deals with the coal-miners strike that tore Great Britain apart in the mid-1980s and much more), you still have to see it to believe it. Director Matthew Warchus (primarily known for theater work such as God of Carnage and Art) tells a multi-character story based on actual events that manages to be funny, touching, enraging and otherwise demanding a viewer’s emotional response.
It starts with those strikes in Great Britain in 1984, in protest of Margaret Thatcher’s attempts to close coal mines and lay off miners. Even as the miners are striking, members of the London gay community decide, after that year’s gay pride parade, that they will support the miners and start raising money for their strike fund. When their efforts to donate the money to the union itself are ignored (because of who the donation is coming from), the group’s leader, Mark (Ben Schnetzer), rallies his troops and picks one mining village in Wales to whom they’ll take their support in person.
The miners at first are nonplussed at the idea of being in the same room as actual gay people: “I’ve never met anyone who was gay,” one local says, to which Mark replies, “That you know of.”
“The Other Hundred” is a unique photo book project aimed as a counterpoint to the Forbes 100 and other media rich lists by telling the stories of people around the world who are not rich but whose lives, struggles and achievements deserve to be celebrated. Its 100 photo stories move beyond the stereotypes and clichés that fill so much of the world’s media to explore the lives of people whose aspirations and achievements are at least as noteworthy as any member of the world’s richest 1 percent.
During World War II, many women in Belarus served on the front lines. When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, most of these women were between 16 and 18 years old. For the next four years, they served as nurses, truck drivers, partisans and communications operators. At the end of the war, they were awarded medals and prizes and named “Heroes of the Nation.” As they approach the end of their lives, and despite the breakup of the former Soviet Union, their contributions are still remembered with invitations to attend parades and to visit schools to tell children about their experiences. Belarus Photographer: Agnieszka Rayss
Lida Pietrovna Bondar, nurse.
Zinaida Konstantinovna, now of Grodno, Belarus, worked for Soviet Army Communications during the war.
Maria Antonovna Pospielova of Zaskovichi, Belarus. She served in the partisan resistance force against the Nazi occupation.
Maria Antonovna Pospielova’s dress uniform with her military honors.
God gave me the courage to fight for the truth, and I have never been afraid to speak the truth. I think that if someone is righteous, God sees it and protects him. That’s how it was with me. When I was already in the partisan force, I was walking alone through the woods and I got surrounded by a pack of wolves. I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I had a pistol with only two bullets. I climbed onto the trunk of a felled pine tree, crossed myself, and they finally left” — Maria Antonovna Pospielova.
Zinaida Nikolaieva Famienska, partisan.
Valentina Pietrovna Baranova, army communications worker, head of the veterans’ union in Grodno.
Galina Ivanova Pagarelava of Shchuchyn, Belarus, served as a nurse in the war..
“I was a nurse and I got into the front-bound ambulance train. I was at the front, I collected the wounded and drove them to the hospital. They were heavy — one had to carry them on one’s own arms and back. When we took the wounded away, we were often bombarded by the Germans. We had “death passports,” metal tags with our name and last name to identify us in case we were killed. This is how the four years of war went by. I was at the Leningrad front, the Baltic front and the Karelian front all the way beyond the Arctic Circle. It was daylight all the time at the Arctic front. We wrote letters on the train — at night. Belarus is my second homeland. I was born in the Ural, and I have lived in Shchuchyn since 1954. I have no regrets. My son turned out great. I had an interesting life” — Galina Ivanova Pagarelava.
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Robin Thicke debuted the new music video to his single “Feel Good” this week, taking a far tamer direction with the clip than that of his headline-making “Blurred Lines” video. The visuals to “Feel Good” show the 36-year-old singer in a tuxedo at a piano; he’s later joined by a group of female dancers, but, unlike “Blurred Lines,” they remain clothed. “Feel Good” is the latest single off of Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” album. He saw major success with the project, nabbing his first No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Take a look at “Feel Good” below.
Inspired by an emotionally frustrated Reddit thread and some recent absurdity on “Scandal” (see below), we took a look at all of the story lines we hate on shows we love. It seems even the greatest series have the potential to be flawed by implausibility, ridiculousness and / or incest. Here are the seven seriously cringe-worthy plot developments from our favorite shows.
Arrested Development: Michael’s love affair with Rita.
There is a ton of weird crap on “Arrested Development” that is ultimately hilarious because of the fastidiousness with which it is repeated. In a lot of ways, “Arrested” deals in the currency of awkwardness. But Rita’s existence wasn’t even just awkward, inside joke-y or absurd. It was unfunny and slightly disturbing. Knowing that Rita was not only disabled, but the mental equivalent of a pre-school age child made Michael’s romantic feelings seriously uncomfortable (if not belittling to the mentally handicapped). Not even Franklin could save Charlize Theron in this role.
Homeland: Literally anything related to Dana Brody … but mostly her running away with that fratricidal maniac.
Dana’s grappling with her father’s supposed terrorist status should render her sympathetic. But it doesn’t. Something about her whining and the sleeves pulled up over her grubby hands is irreconcilably aggravating. “Homeland,” in general, suffers from a lack of endearing characters, especially with the recent ambiguity in Saul’s moral character. It is difficult enough to be patient with Carrie, as she acts on instinct and denies orders (on literally every mission). Watching Dana’s belligerent road trip with her murderous rehab pal is like chewing on the razors she cuts herself with.
Girls: Hannah’s spontaneous case of OCD.
Encountering mental illness with such brutal honesty was an admirably bold choice for Lena Dunham. Hannah’s Q-tip incident shed light on some particularly grim aspects of OCD, functioning as far more than a superficially comedic quick. Yet, introducing Hannah’s condition as surprising twist felt cheap. Yes, OCD spikes during stress. And yes, Hannah had a lot going on in her life that might have triggered the Q-tip episode. But she is also a girl that has a penchant for martyrdom and talks about herself almost non-stop. The fact that this wouldn’t have come up before in, like, any of 800 conversations with Marnie is decidedly implausible.
Dexter: Deb’s incestuous obsession with Dexter.
The only time incest has been done right is in “Cruel Intentions,” and that wasn’t even actual incest. Even though Dexter is not Deb’s biological brother, the way they were raised and their current closeness as siblings made Deb’s affection feel disgusting at a visceral level. Initially it seemed that Deb’s romantic feelings might have been simply an uncomfortable suggestion by her therapist, perfectly capable of fading out of the show’s consciousness. Yet, when she goes to the extent of confessing her love to Dexter, things go from complex to just terrible. In the words of Deb herself: “You’re a serial killer and I’m more fucked up than you are.”
I’m almost convinced that Julian Fellowes whipped out the mysterious-stranger-with-double-reverse-amnesia plot line, just in case watching a surprisingly accurate period drama was making American audiences feel too smart. If “Downton Abbey” is soapy, a heavily bandaged Patrick Gordon masquerading as Patrick Crawley returned from the dead (and entitled to his share of the inheritance) through an overly complex medical explanation is the sudsy equivalent of your dishwasher overflowing and flooding your entire town. Geez, Lady Edith blushing over their (completely made up) “childhood memories” is even aggravating in retrospect.
Scandal: Olivia’s mother secretly still being alive / in prison.
The most compelling aspect of “Scandal” is that it maintains some level of plausibility even in its most complex government conspiracy plot threads. With the revelation that Olivia’s mother was aboard the flight Fitz gunned down, things already felt a bit too conspicuously threaded together or, at least, more soapy than thrilling. Now, the fact that Olivia’s mother is actually still alive, being kept in a tiny jail cell by her father is just too much to stomach. This is one “Scandal” plot line that could use fixing.
Grey’s Anatomy: Denny Duqette coming back as Izzy’s ghost lover.
As Reddit user pressuretobear put it “I think that the term ‘jumping the shark’ should be replaced by ‘ghost orgasms.'” It was hard to stay emotionally invested in “Grey’s” after Denny died, and though “Grey’s” jumping the shark can be blamed on a number of absurdly melodramatic plot lines, the fallout of his death was definitively the worst of it. Previously the show had been overly dramatic in an appropriately soapy way. This felt like soap opera porn. Arts – The Huffington Post
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