Saturday, October 10, 2009

Let's Take a Sec to Think Back


Friday, October 9, 2009

Hot Hot Heat

This is Seattle hip-hop duo Fresh Espresso.
Wait. No! Let me finish. Listen. Hey: I don't like the name
Fresh Espresso either. I really, really don't like it. It almost makes me a little mad. However: that small hitch does not take away the fact that Rik Rude and P Smoov's debut album
Glamour, which I purchased from Everyday Music several weeks ago, is pretty dang solid. Especially this cut, which you can download for free right now from Fabric magazine:

Fresh Espresso The Lazerbeams mp3 

Did you listen to it yet? I mean, the lazerbeams are so hot. It is undeniable. The bassline is hot, the lyrics and delivery are hot, the shaker/tambourine is hot, the drums are hot, the layers of spacey keyboards are hot – hot like Pharrell's little keyboard fill in "Drop It Like It's Hot" hot. I still think the name "Fresh Espresso" is not, and I don't care if it's supposed to be ironic. I am willing to set that aside. The presence of heat cannot be ignored.

Buy you some Glamour at your favorite local music spot, or online at Sonic Boom. Get more info on F.E. here and be sure to steadily check Larry Mizell Jr. on KEXP's Street Sounds for more local hip-hop of note. Rik Rude and P Smoov seem to perform live almost constantly. Tonight they're at the Comet with WE ARE NOT A CULT (Murder Dice), The Let Go, and Eli Porter. Doors at 9pm, $8 cover. $2 Fresh Rainier.


The photo above is by Tyler Soverns (Rabid Child Images), whose photo exhib Snaps opens tonight at Greenwood Collective. The poster features Sir Thomas Gray of Champagne Champagne, who was signed to my own record label for a minute, long ago, in a past life for both of us:

From these two photos I'd say the show is worth a look. Good, warm, consistent color on a white background – no movement is complete without a visual identity and if this is it for the current crop of Seattle hip-hop I'd say they're in good photographic hands.

Need vs. Want

Burberry black brass bangle with raised spikes at
I was going to buy this for Emily, but then it sold out.
Need. Want.

[If you're not a member of Gilt yet, click here to join...loads of good deals to be found for men and women, whatever your flavor.]

Looking sharp. Photograph from V55 by Richard Burbridge, with styling by our lil' buddy Brian Molloy.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans

Remember when I said that I was sure Littlejeans would resume his duties as Em's study buddy now that she's back in school? This is what that looks like:

And here's Inez, a/k/a Lil' Bandit:

Not particularly helpful but at least she's consistent.

Image of the Day

Andrew Wyeth photographed by Bruce Weber

There's just over a week left to see Andrew Wyeth: Remembrance at the Seattle Art Museum – definitely worth the trip and if I can find them time I might go again.

Click here for more Andrew Wyeth on Pacific Standard.
More info on the show at

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Type Raw


Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that it's free.
Chad always finds the coolest shit on the www.

Need vs. Want

Common Projects sneakers (Fall/Winter 2009). These are my favorite shoes from Common Projects yet – kind of half-way between Vans and Clarks. Don't really need another pair of shoes though. Want.

Visit The Moment (the blog of T: The New York Time Style Magazine) to read a recent interview with Common Projects founders Flavio Girolami and Peter Poopat, who I used to work with at Visionaire.

Image of the Day


A detail from the front of the building that houses Lawrimore Project. Matthew posted previously about Lawrimore's current exhibition – truly one of the best shows I've seen in a long time, and Joey Veltkamp posted an excellent interview with the artist, Leo Saul Berk, along with a bunch of images – head over there and have a look, why don'tcha.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Irving Penn

I am sad to post the news that one of the greatest photographers of all time, Irving Penn, died this morning at the age of 92. Read Andy Grundberg's obituary at The New York Times – undoubtedly the first of many remembrances in days to come. Above, a 1950 Irving Penn photograph of his wife, the model and artist Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, who died in 1992.

Antonio's Girl

Yesterday I posted about the brand new, previously unreleased Betty Davis CD Is It Love Or Desire, which is now in stores. Here's a sample:

Betty Davis Is It Love Or Desire mp3 [via Light in the Attic]

Today I'm posting about the other new Betty Davis release that came out this week: her third album, Nasty Gal. I didn't do a ton of design work on this one (other than the booklet) because it's a re-issue of a classic album that Betty released in 1975 – but I wanted to post about the illustrator of the front and back covers.

Antonio Lopez in the Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, ca.1975

Antonio Lopez was arguably the most influential fashion illustrator of all time, inspiring fellow artists from the 1960s up to his death in 1987 (from complications related to AIDS), and on up through the present. Here's a small sampling of his other work:

Antonio Lopez illustrations for British Vogue, ca.1960s

A 1967 drawing, and a 1973 drawing for Andy Warhol's Interview magazine

Brigitte Bardot by Lopez for the cover of Interview, 1975

In the 1960s, Lopez, who had emigrated to New York from Puerto Rico with his family as a child, went to the Fashion Institute of Technology and shortly thereafter rose up quickly as a star illustrator for fashion magazines such as Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. In 1969 he moved to Paris with his long-time partner and fellow F.I.T. grad Juan Ramos.

Jerry Hall, ca. 1975, by Antonio Lopez

Jerry Hall moved out of the apartment she shared with Grace Jones and in with Antonio and Juan. It must have been quite a scene.

Jacques de Bascher and Karl Lagerfeld, photo by Antonio Lopez

Lopez opened a salon with his good friend Karl Lagerfeld – a hang-out for various models and people in fashion society, and a place where Lopez taught workshops on illustration and American pop art. Somewhere along the line he met Betty Davis. Antonio photographed Betty and worked with her on the album cover for Nasty Gal.

It's crazy to me, imagining this miniature cultural eruption – a gay Puerto Rican artist, an explosive black soul singer ex-wife of Miles Davis, a Texas-girl supermodel with Bryan Ferry in the wings, a German expat fashion genius on the rise, Grace Jones and Jean-Paul Goude doing their thing – all of them trading inspiration and creative pursuits. The influence that emanated out of those years could fill up its own blog, and then some.

Jerry Hall and Antonio Lopez in their Paris apartment, ca.1975, by Norman Parkinson

Eventually returning to New York in the late '70s, Lopez continued to design for magazines, as well as for Bloomingdale's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Fiorucci, and Studio 54. He published a few different books, the most sought-after being Antonio's Girls (1983).

One of Antonio's many "Shoe Metamorphosis" drawings, ca.1978

Antonio Lopez continues to be a major force in fashion illustration. I can't say I love everything he did in the '80s – I just happen to prefer his earlier work – but at this point it's all classic. The cover for Betty Davis' Nasty Gal – similar to the style he perfected for the covers of so many Interview magazines – is a favorite of mine, and there is no doubt Lopez deserves his status as an underground legend.

A memorial from Bloomingdale's that ran in The New York Times when Lopez died, and a drawing for Saks ca.late-'70s.

Visit artnet for more images and info on Antonio Lopez.

Head over to for more info and/or to order Nasty Gal and Is It Love Or Desire, the new CDs from Betty Davis.

Image of the Day

. Honestly I think the barnyard Chanel show is a little ridiculous... but the Chanel logo on burlap is fresh. Photo by Garance Doré.

Kid A

Hey, guess what – it's Thom Yorke's 41st birthday. Here's a video of his yet-to-be-named new band (that's Flea on bass).

Happy birthday Thom Yorke.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Image of the Day

Jacques-Henri Lartigue's Solange David, Paris, December 1929, from a show up through Saturday the 10th at G. Gibson Gallery in Pioneer Square, Seattle. I wrote previously about the Imogen Cunningham prints they have for sale, but the rest of the show, featuring work by Lartigue and Marion Post Wolcott, is also not be missed. It's a smallish selection, but absolutely captivating – if you work downtown, head over there one day this week on your lunch break and catch it before it's gone. Info here.

Viva Betty Davis

Today marks the release of two new CDs I designed for Light in the Attic Records, both by the legendary funk queen Betty Davis: Nasty Gal (which I'll post about later) and Is It Love Or Desire, a previously unreleased album Davis recorded in 1976. Here's some info on Betty excerpted from a review in a recent Other Music update:
As a young fashion model in New York in the mid-'60s, [Betty Davis] ran with the cutting edge of black musicians from Sly Stone to Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis, whom she married in '68. Miles himself says that Betty played a significant role in the development of his groundbreaking electric sound of the period, but the young fireplug was just too wild for the jazz genius (it's also been said that an affair with Hendrix contributed to the breakup), and Betty moved to London, where she began writing the songs that made it onto her self-titled 1973 debut. Everything that made Davis' music breathtaking and beautiful – her raw, outspoken, often shocking lyrical content, her tough-as-nails funk grooves, and her blistering vocal delivery – also ensured that she would be marginalized in the tame pop market of the time.
Is It Love Or Desire is every bit as intense and soulful as any of Davis' best work, a heavy, grinding, howling album of sex, wine and deep deep worries that fueled this iconoclast from the beginning, that made her spit blood and fire and ultimately marginalized her art for all these years.
Here's the cover:

When I started working on these CDs, Betty's whole flavor – her personal style, her strength and fierce independence combined with her raw sexuality – reminded me instantly of Viva, "The International Magazine for Women" published between 1973 and 1979 by Bob Guccione (of Penthouse infamy), and edited by his wife, Kathy Keeton. The typography I used on the cover, which is gold and silver foil-stamped, was inspired by Viva's logo.

Viva pushed its sex-meets-sophistication point of view with extremely smart art direction and the use of very high quality photography and styling. Anna Wintour was the magazine's fashion editor, before moving on to Condé Nast.

Click here to read more about Viva magazine in a feature we ran in V magazine a few years ago.

Visit Light in the Attic for more on Betty Davis and to order the new CDs, as well as Betty's first two albums, Betty Davis and They Say I'm Different.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Image of the Day

James B. Wyeth Screen Door to the Sea
(1994, oil on panel, 36" x 30")

Jamie Wyeth
is Andrew Wyeth's son and an amazing artist in his own right. He was kind enough to sign this postcard for me a couple years ago in Rockland, Maine.

Away We Go


Pacific Standard regrets the error.

Back in March I posted the trailer for Away We Go. I didn't have a chance to see it in the theater. It came out on DVD last Tuesday. We watched it last night. It might be the worst movie I've ever seen. It is two hours of contrived, smug, ironic sweetness that I will never get back – two hours in which I experienced the unusual sensation (to me, at least) of hating my generation. There are some great people in Away We Go (Josh Hamilton, Jim Gaffigan, others) but it doesn't matter. The people who wrote this movie are very smart people, I'm told, but it doesn't matter. Away We Go is a colossally dumb movie.

If you saw this movie solely because you saw the trailer here (highly doubtful, but possible), I apologize. You probably feel toward me the way I feel toward Maya Rudolph right now.
I don't know what else to say. Can we please just never talk about it again? I will buy you a milkshake or something next time I see you and everything will be normal again.