Lemon Twigs Live Shots

Serendipity at its finest. I magically swung tickets to a sold out show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg to see one of The Lemon Twigs first major gigs in the wake of their debut album release Do Hollywood. Bumped into photographer Andy DeLuca there, and after a beer- and classic-rock-fueled editing session at the East Village Social, we came up with the below bad boys.

Truth is, there was no editing necessary. The Addario brothers are just as photogenic on stage as they are shockingly talented for their teenage years. But having their live performance still fresh in our minds — the Pete Townshend-like stage antics and their retro art rock and roll sound — we couldn’t help but get a little carried away with filters reminiscent of the times the Lemon Twigs music so expertly channels.

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The Growlers City Club Out Now On Cult Records

The Growlers trade in their surf rock twang for a more structured synth sound on their latest release City Club, out now via Cult Records. They’re even shedding the sticky label of beach goth the band helped to coin.

It’s no surprise that Strokes frontman and Cult Records exec Julian Casablancas himself was at the helm. He layers the record with synth riffs and vocal effects, channeling some of his solo work with The Voidz. The added production takes The Growlers one step further from the garage vibe they started to do away with on 2014’s Chinese Fountain. The one constant is the lilting, raspy Morrison-esque croon of singer Brooks Nielsen.

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model twiggy in helicopter by photographer melvin sokolsky

Lessons from an Iconic Harper’s Bazaar Photographer

Artists tend to be elusive with the press. Like magicians, they can be wary of revealing their tricks. One in particular, Harper’s Bazaar photographer Melvin Sokolsky, confessed he felt burned by the press and swore against interviews for good. But all that changed in the days leading up to his show at SoHo’s Staley Wise Gallery. In discussion was much more than just the creative process behind his legendary “Bubble” series that popped onto the pages of Harpers in the early 1960s. Here are five life lessons distilled down from our conversation.

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wolfmother on stage webster hall

Andrew Stockdale once said..  “…you gotta go wild. you gotta rock out. … we’re always trying to get that kind of reckless abandon, out-of-body experience—where you just lose yourself to it.” If that’s what Wolfmother is after, then the band could definitely go home feeling Victorious after Friday’s show at Webster Hall.

The dimly-lit Marlin Room was in a rock and roll-induced euphoria during their show in support of their latest album, Victorious—a triumphant return of the heavy hitting, riff-centric sound that put Wolfmother on the map. Stockdale absolutely shredded, putting everything he had into the performance, and made his newly released material rock just as hard as his hits.

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Wolfmother is Once Again Victorious

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Black Leather Jacket by Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten Produces la Crème de la Black Leather Jacket

No one thinks “biker chic” when conjuring up the work of Dries Van Noten — until now.

The grittiness of that American subculture is exactly what the Belgian designer channeled in his, very personal, interpretation of the classic black leather jacket, as per orders of Christies and Barneys New York.

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Sardinian Desert Love

Why are certain memories stronger than others? Years made up of days that run together, creating a muddy backdrop in your mind. A wash of events like the colors in an impressionist painting. And then, all of sudden, crystal clarity. A memory that seems to be distilled down with time to its purest state like an ancient crystal buried deep within a rock.

Sardinia was like that for me. Even three years later, this desert sea landscape continues to reveal itself in my thoughts like an ancient rock on the ocean floor as the tide of my life ebbs and flows.

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Sam France Oxygen

Foxygen: Legends of Generation Y

Foxygen possesses what most bands lack—the intangible it factor. And no level of talent will help a band obtain what’s so nearly impossible to put your finger on. But these San Francisco psych-poppers have their finger right on it.

I remember once—having posted a contact sheet from their live set at Forecastle Festival sometime back—saying that I had captured “the wild movements of singer Sam France whose powerful mojo hand is painted in the psychedelic colors of the rainbow”. Somehow, a couple years later, this imagery still rings true.

What did I mean? Well, this born frontman twists and bends his rock and roll mojo through a kind of technicolor prism, morphing at every turn. He stretches his otherworldly aura into other times and head-spaces.

When I saw them in the wake of the We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic tour, he was channeling the frantic energy of someone like Jim Morrison. Quite literally writhing on stage in tangles of mic chord like a man possessed.

It was mesmerizing to watch. Needless to say, I wanted to capture every second of it, as if to bottle it up and take it home to study later under laboratory lights.

Evidenced here:

foxygen contact sheet

Lately he’s been entering into the twilight realm of soft rock glamour, dawning jump suits with the plunging neck lines you thought only Mick Jagger could pull off, and vamping into the camera like in one of their latest videos for “Coulda Been My Love”.

The lead singer plays into the camera in the snappiest rock and roll fashion, while in the background the guitarist weeps away on the slide and slowly moves in on the female love interest in the song. It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to think of the rift between Keith Richards and Brian Jones over Anita Pallenburg… or any such similar story.

Any other band would have made the premise of this video seem like some kind of parody. But somehow with Foxygen it’s credible. Like they were there. Like they are one of them. They’re the real deal. Legends of Generation Y.

You won’t want to miss any of this band’s movements.

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john and yoko

John and Yoko: Dreaming Reality

When journalist David Sheff began tenaciously pursuing all possible channels to reach out to John and Yoko in hopes that they would sit for a Playboy interview in 1980, he never would have imagined that the decision might come down to the time and place of his own birth—the interview, after all, would hinge on how Yoko would interpret his horoscope.

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Dennis Stock: American Cool

This piece is a reaction. An impression. A reverberation of a powerful artistic wave set in motion by the photographer Dennis Stock that I felt viscerally when I picked up a dusty volume of his work in a roadside bar in Cesena, Italy.

Believe it or not, I’d never even heard of the photographer, and there was no captivating image on the cover to draw me in. The small, faded volume was sandwiched in a disorganized, sideways leaning array of books on topics ranging from travel to Buddhism to Etruscan Art, all in Italian.

It must have been something about the age, the condition, or the font on the slim binding and the iconic sounding name that made me reach for it. I reverently wiped dust off the cover, as if handling some sort of relic, and listened to the binding crack as I looked inside. It was a time warp.

I sat transfixed for about an hour while my boyfriend finished up his business with the owner of the neighboring music venue. Somehow, my interest in how he handled concert booking and the potential this new venue had for his business completely faded. When I eventually did have to put the book down and walk over to the club next door, I was in another world.

As I stared up at the rafters of the empty space, the mega lighting and sound equipment, I couldn’t help but think about how Stock would play with the light in his black and white compositions until the gritty place took on a legendary tone. I pondered how he might find the absurd in the space and mix it with a sense of minimalism and sophistication like he did in so many photographs I was cycling through in my head.

I’d realized from looking through the book that I had seen Stock’s photographs before. I’d seen his notable snapshots of James Dean whom he befriended on his rise to fame and photographed just before his death. I’d seen the dreamy picture of Audrey Hepburn leaning out of a reflective limo on the brink of fame. I’d seen his stunning portraits of jazz greats like Miles Davis where he seems to distill the whole soul of that musical movement down to a single photo frame. For those handful of shots alone he deserves to go down in history.

And yet, I’m more transfixed by the weird I see in his work. The absurdly Americana, like in his Planet of the Apes set photography, or the hippies and bikers he encountered on his cross-California counter culture voyage documented in California Trip (Penguin, 1970).

To catch more of the lesser known Stock, check out American Cool, published by Reel Art Press in 2013. This very latest release of his work offers an even deeper look into the strange trips of the photographer, from glamorous celebrity encounters to weird, sometimes dark, forays into american counter culture and middle american life.

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