Sunday, July 26, 2009

Digging Santigold

Apart from her outrageously delicious music, Santigold (Santogold?) is cool for innumerable reasons, including but not limited to:
1. The fact that her real name is Santi White. White is my favorite color;
2. The name change from Santi to Santogold to Santigold. (Notice the blocking in the album artwork) I, too, at the ripe age of whatever age you are in 3rd grade changed my name from Sasha to Alex to shed myself of endless Sushi/Sausage ridicule only to be met with public scrutiny over the neo nomen. I then changed back as she to Santi-gold. We can relate; and
3. Quakers. Yeah, Santigold went to Quaker school and then to Wesleyan where she double majored in Music and African American studies? How politically correct.

By the way she also has really good music, some of which may taint the hallowed hollows of thine ear. Sample this, "Lights Out" from her formerly eponymous Santigold (2008)

Also, you can get her song "L.E.S. Artistes" for FREEZY along with some Passion Pit, La Roux
and others Nylon Magazine's Website. Your welcome. And thanks to Ian Erickson-Kery!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Paul Newman vs. Marlon Brando

There are some comparisons that are completely resolvable (Why does Pepsi even exist? Coke is obviously the embodiment of the american dream...) but others are not as clear cut as the abs of their options. Marlon Brando. Paul Newman.

And some James Franco for the next generation.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Random Pictures

Part of My Closet, Interregnum
Birmingham via Vulcan avec Mia
Pour La victoire sandals
Demon Children plus popsicles
This is a frog.
Villmot is the best poster artist.
I made this pie. From scratch. Including the dough.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Away We Go: Three Thumbs Up

It seems as though I have deleted the original post. Here:

Sorry, brevity is not my forte, let's try this again.

Away We Go is a good film because it shows protagonists living life. Why does this make a good movie? You ask.  It seems simple enough, but I’m not sure many, if any of you, know how to do this and movies these days get by with gimmicky storylines, explosions, and Judd Apatow (no disrespect). But to have a movie that just shows life in innocent purity is truly a rarity and a jewel.

In Sam Mendes' (American Beauty, Jarhead) charming film, Verona (Maya Rudolph, daughter to Minnie Riperton) and Burt (John Krasinski, The Office) find themselves pregnant and stranded by the latter’s parents and bestowed with the gift of latitude. The movie then finds itself a sequence of settings in which the endearing couple learn bits of life in each diorama with its own inhabitants, like some awesomely twisted nature show, but rather than Steve Irwin (Coco bless his soul), Verona and Bert are left to poke and cajole the creatures of parenthood and independence.

Our story’s heros seem fragile and strong, and the film is not shy about implying their moral superiority to every crazy they encounter. And they encounter a plethora of crazy. Usually, I detest a stellar dramatis personae but in this case, the entire bill (including random extras) create a seemingly endless ripple of laughter halted by sudden, blunt eddies of deep emotion. Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Catherine O’Hara, Jeff Daniels, Melanie Lynskey, and Paul Schneider  (to name a few!) embody their respective stereotypes, but add an undertone of unique wholesomeness, in sense of originality (certainly not appropriateness).

Rudolph and Krasinski also remain 100% believable 96% of the time, but in those lingering 4% we can see and hear only Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida writing cliché into this otherwise beautifully surprising script. These moments are unnatural and forced, but necessary and overall contribute more to the film than they sacrifice, but these scenes of jejune sentimentality and sporadic artsy-for-the-sake-of-artsy shots stir a reaction this side of parental disappointment towards a sloppy child.

But overall I find the film absolutely satisfying, a laugh riot (Africa, O Africa) and I was sad when it was over. There were no gimmicks or antics, no unrealistic plot twists, because there is little plot. And I don’t consider myself betraying you by revealing this, because Away We Go is not about what happens, but how Burt and Verona live their lives. The pregnancy is a red herring for a simple look into the complicated lives of two people and the world around them. Go see it.

Also, apart from being spawn of siren Minnie, Maya Rudolph produced offspring with P.T. Anderson, director of the lionized There Will Be Blood and (perhaps adequately celebrated) Boogie Nights. The latter starred Mark Wahlberg, impersonated by Andy Samberg on SNL, of which Maya also stars.

Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Tricky to Romp Around

Today, as I was awaiting an appointment, I decided to get some shots of my pedicure (as I would soon relinquish it to camp) and to celebrate the last days of wearing heels (Alas, camp steals all my joys). During this process, who do I see other than my friend's mom, so picture this. I'm standing, in romper and heels on a concrete block across the street from the photog (Dana) and Lillie's mom pulls up. That was awkward. Anyway, here are my shoes and (somewhat) a romper shot. (It was tricky to capture)

Coach Shoes with hearts and stars. The perfect 3008 / 60s mix.
The romper, just to prove I coordinated.

Sorry there are so many of these. I am obsessed with these shoes... notice 10 different shades on ze toes.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

ShopBop Contest

The two best ways to be recessionist and fashioinable are
1) Wear your old clothes! It seems easy enough but you'll start getting tired of what you wear, not because you don't have enough but because most people wear 20% of their closets 90% of the time! To get more out of your wardrobe, seriously search for what you haven't worn in ages and pair things together. Create what you don't already have!
2) Enter Contests. Lots of Contests. With cash prizes or --even better-- clothing prizes.
Here's my entry to's Style Contest and also what I wore (yesterday)

LaRok Shirt/Dress with leather (yes! leather) trim and gold buttons. 

Vera Wang Lavender Label shorts with bow closure.
Second Amendment: Right to Bare Arms
Christian Louboutin Three Strap Mary Janes and DY ring.
Voila! It is a dress! A scandalous short dress, but with leggings or the right city, it works.
DY Handcuff and Gurhan rings

Vintage Necklace from my grandmother's closet

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Movies I Want to See: Circa Summer 09

Movies I most want to see, in order of release date (kindof)

Moon: Directed by Duncan Jones, David Bowie's son, and starring Sam Rockwell. (Plot is more along the lines of Elton John's "Rocket Man")

(500) Days of Summer: Who doesn't. I do not like Zooey Deschanel. 

Bruno, by my alter ego Sacha Baron Coen. (I've already made a Bruno reference in another article, can you find it?)

Paper Heart: Michael Cera (enough). They're really in love.

Funny People: Judd Apatow, enough.

Cold Souls: Paul Giamatti, enough.

Adam: A tail of Asberger's and love with Hugh Dancy 

Inglorious Basterds: Quentin Tarantino + Brad Pitt + Nazi's + Southern Accents. Enough

9: There may be too many good actors for this to turn out well, but we'll give it a try.
The September Issue: Anna Wintour gets her revenge on Devil Wears Prada.

GQ: The Sartorialist Edition.

The Sartorialist gives me hope that there are naturally well-dressed, attractive, and, well, sartorial men in the world. Here are some pearls of hope as well as hints to what guys should wear. 

I could take this guy to a derby, and thank GQ he went with a straw (not wool) fedora.
This guy's total chill attitude makes him so well dress. The Allen G. ref ain't bad either and you know if a guy's comfortable enough with himself to sport a FLORAL blazer, he's probably not boring, either. 

Mini brief case? Attache case? Non. Clarinetist (Guess you'll never be a concert flautist)
I saw this guy at Chick-fil-a. Reminiscent of Jeremy Sisto.

Photos from the Sartorialist via GQ.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Check Out: Grizzly Bear

When you have no money, you turn to the small priceless treasures in life. Like rain and music. You may have already herd of Grizzly Bear which actually released Yellow House in 2006, which saw medeocre approbation. But their new album, Veckatimist feels (as, self proclaimed) "more confidant, mature, focused—and most of all, dynamic." They have a sound of soulful melancholy. For fans of Beirut, Andrew Bird, Fleet Foxes-esque. Also kindof like outrageously enjoyable elevator music, somewhat maudlin but in a good way. Worthy of a Wes Anderson Soundtrack (big shoes to fill). They've also received wide acclaim from Rolling Stone, NME, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, and a littany of other music and lifestyle commentairies, and now Dollar Diplomacy. Check them and this music video out for "Two Weeks" (I'm still deciding how I feel about it.)

The video reminds me of a Norman Rockwell/ Tim Burton (a la Edward Scissorhands,Sweeny Todd) collaboration.
Also, this is directed by Patrick Daughters who has worked with everyone:
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Kings of Leon, Death Cab, Muse, Feist, Snow Patrol, Beck, The Shins, Bright Eyes, Mika,
Interpol, Depeche Mode.
isn't that sick?

Anyway, comment and let me know what you think about the music and the Band. Live your life, Sasha.

I Am... Clothed.

Now apart from being Obama's daughter, a Russian boy, everyone and their brother's dogs, and permanently removed from the world of custom key chains, I am... Sasha Fierce, in a clothing line. This line of the Sasha variety from Beyonce's House of Dereon and will function just like her music, as a conduit of her "daring and outgoing" alter ego. And while I prefer my Beyonce laced, nay, covered in spandex leotards and metal corsets, these are completely pret-a-porter.

Nothing too special, but I feel like she's just making sure everyone knows she's not talking 100% lace bodysuits before she puts a ring on it. Def digging the shoes.

There's the Beyonce we all know and love... or the Sasha?

Yes. Gold Corset ftw. Beyonce has mad cahones.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Just kidding, it's actualy just  !
Anyways, if you know it or not, Shop Bop is an awesome online store for the BEST eclectic collection of clothing. They have famous designers  a la Sevens, True Religion, DVF, Balmain, Marc by Marc Jacobs, but they also have new "up and coming" designers ranging from thousands to under 50 dollars and their sales are AWESOME! (If you get on their mailing lists, specials = your life). They also dress all styles (preppy, pretty, fairies, glam, rocker, glam rocker) and ages so ch ch ch check it out. In the meantime, here are some shots from their All-American looks etc. (Dibs on the pink outfit and the red shorts!)
This reminds me of maggie.
This is SO MINE (Mia, you know who I'm talking to)
This too is mine, sans shoes et chapeau.
Also I forgot to mention they sell pretty much everything: shoes, jewels, scarves, hats, sunglasses, bathing suits, towels... yeah it's your life store (plus food and healthcare)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Public Enemies, or Waste of Time.

 MTV’s “real life” version of the O.C., Laguna Beach has seen unprecedented reality success with a processional of spinoffs and shrilling fans. It is most likely scripted. But what works for the Hills is that the characters live the only life you know of them.

This is not the case for Public Enemies, the latest from Michael Mann (Colateral, Ali).

Now, Mr. Mann probably did not wake up and decide to make a reality-movie complete with platitudinous dialogue, over-staged setting and actors who think their lives are more exciting than any role they could play. Poorly. But watching this movie, one can't help but picture him in a stereotypical, black director’s chair with a beret and megaphone trying to make a such a movie. Perhaps this was neither his intention nor his fault; perhaps it took him hostage, like a bank client held up by John Dillinger, the film’s antihero, or you, an innocent moviegoer hostage by this movie….

The movie starts off with a prison break to get the incorrigible Dillinger (Depp) started on his next heist, and the viewer introduced. From the first glimpse, we find awkward angles, extreme close-ups and unnatural blotchy lighting which, although “revolutionary” gives an overall uncomfortable and disorienting impression. The choreography is about as exciting as a 1930s band of gangsters can get, but the conservative shots reveal little and in the following shots of the getaway car, we see only attempted-natural shots of shadowed faces with the light falling in just the wrong contours of the faces. Perhaps the a muster of this banal film is in the sequence of getaway shots as Dillinger gazes into the eyes of his dying friend as he lets go, literally, only to have the corpse slide into the dust of the penitentiary. How symbolic. Following are shadows and faces.

Thanks (maybe) to the date flashing across the screen, we know this story of bank robber extraordinaire takes place in 1933, else we may have never guessed from the digital quality of the fast paced scenes, like watching an episode of the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but rather than social climbing Italian women preening for the limelight, we have social climbing American John Dillinger aiming to be the extravagant Robin Hood during the depression, while also trying to get by without being marked on every street corner. Instead of the intended “tension of the scene” from the shakey shots and quick, jumpy cuts, the effect is a nauseating disgust for this ostensibly unedited definition. The uber realistic shots conflicting strategically placed time-accurate artifacts and music give a contrived-precision/anachronistic tension that radiates off the screen more like nuclear waste than memorable innovation.

When it comes to plot, Mr. Mann too seems conflicted as to whether or not this is a love story, or a goose-chase. Both, perhaps—a story about John Dillinger, the man? This seems possible, but the complete lack of any character development for John, his band of FBI antagonists, his lover, or any other of the MILLION characters in this movie makes it clear that depth is not the goal, even in this two hour twenty minute film, despite being, essentially, about one man. Not too mention Johnny Depp seems too excited about being paid to wear fedoras and three-pieces to care about being killed by the fledgling FBI led by a fat, and faux tanned J. Edgar Hoover (Billy Crudup).

Perhaps the biggest bane to this film is, ironically, it’s stellar cast. When an actor becomes larger than life, so that when you see him you think only other roles or tabloid shots of him at the beach, he no longer serves his purpose. This is true for Johnny Depp. (But to be fair, Angelina Jolie can't escape the tabloids, yet Eastwood’s opus Changeling suffers not from this foible.)

Alone, he may have not been so bad, but with Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, and Billy Crudup in leading roles along with a litany of familiar faces in smaller parts, regardless of how good (or bad) their performances were, it comes off looking like a movie. This, in addition to gas-station-novel dialogue with nuggets of proverbial cheese lead to over-performed hackneyed phrases. The only natural, time-apt  delivery comes from lawyer Louis Piquett (Peter Gerety) in a scene which unfortunately cannot save this movie. Otherwise, the trite lines spew forth with the typical old-movie music and Billie Holliday so perfectly played at every moment Billie Frechette (Cotillard), the love interest, is in the shot. The epitome of this forced iconicism is the intended culmination of the parallel between Dillinger and the antagonist and leading detective, Melvin Purvis (Bale). The two stand eye-locked on the opposite sides of a jail cell and exchange restrained resentment. Throughout the film, constant flashing between the two in parallel situations to not-so-coyly draw their similarities becomes obvious and superficial.  And while Colleen Atwood’s (Memoirs of a Geisha, Chicago) costume designs are flawless, they portray every deep facet the audience is meant to understand, but the total lack of any personality makes them look like costumed actors out of GQ. And the excessive playbill cause for mustaches and novelties to distinguish them, which just looks absurd.

One success, if only, of Public Enemies is the timing of the climactic scenes, which come—as they should—as a surprise to the viewer and characters. This accomplishment is curtailed by the immediate video-game sequence of “action” consisting of random firework-gunshots like watching Call of Duty but in nondescript fields and hotels. The annoying frequency of these surprises dilutes the excitement, a classic suicide I like to remember as Playing With the Toy So Much It Breaks. And, to make sure you don’t lose the really special moments when something Big! happens, they’ll make sure to put it in slow motion, focus on a certain object, or repeat the phrase, or lyric 17 times.

In a word this film was a disappointment. In several, I am angered by it, and even more by the fact that people think that because it was different, it should be celebrated. They thought that about Courtney Love. But if you're into historical re-enactments, and want to feel like a 1930s agricultural worker in need for sustenance, but would rather be dealt kerosene covered oranges and have all your assets stolen from your intellectual bank, this is the movie for you.


Public Enemies is directed by Michael Mann; Screenplay by Mr. Mann, Ronan Bennet, and Ann Biderman, based on the book by Bryan Burrough; director of photography, Dante Spinotti; edited by Paul Rubell and Jeffrey Ford; music by Elliot Goldenthal; production designer, Nathan Crowley; produced by Mr. Mann and Kevin Misher; released by Universal Pictures. Running time: 2 hours 13 minutes.staring Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, and Stephen Dorf. Photo (c) Universal Studios. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Two of My Favorite Things in One!... like a fish taco

Chuck Bass. GQ. My favorite boy (Chuckles, as I call him) and my favorite magazine, Gentlemen Quarterly have gotten together! They didn't put him on the cover though, but that's okay. Ed Westwick is not the cover type. He is a darker more sophisticated man with sartorial charm and wit.  Here are some of my favorite (and thus most suit-y) shots from the suit shoot. 

This one miiight be my favorite, because Ed looks so hot.
But this one ain't bad either.

But in this one, Ed looks hot and he's dressed well. But this kiindof looks like a typical corner-concrete-room Hugo Boss looking ad. Don't mistake my 'but' for reluctance; I like Hugo Boss.  A lot. 
Okay, you got me. This is, in fact, not Chuck Bass or Ed Westwick. It's Arlo Weiner, offspring of Mad Men creater Matt Weiner. And at the ripe old age of 8, he's got Chuck Bass style, almost, and been in GQ. My future children will be smitten.
But he is super cute. Someone get this kid in a Wes Anderson flick, pronto.