High on Bach: The Breakdancing Black Swans of Chicago

I haven’t been to the ballet since my parents brought me to The Nutcracker during the holidays when I was like six. I believe we left during intermission because I intentionally fell asleep in hopes of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. Didn’t happen. Later in life, I’d find myself attending University of the Arts where I majored in Musical Theater, which is essentially majoring in social suicide. (This was long before Glee.) Anyway, it was all fun and gaymes (hehe) until ballet class, a required course that haunted me more than being forced to dissect a moldy cat in high school anatomy class. I did not sign up for this mess! I packed on the freshman fifteen (maybe thirty…) and I was suddenly being shrieked at to sashay my fat ass across the dance floor in tights whilst the pianist twinkled out classical music! I could deal with the (always bloody) ballet slippers and tights, but the real nightmarish deal breaker was the “dance belt” aka a MAN THONG. Your mom brought you school shopping to Target for binders and Martha Stewart shower curtains, mine brought me man thong shopping. Meanwhile, I just wanted to major in pop star!! Pelvic thrusting, shimmying, etc. THAT’S MY JAM. In other words, I’m now a proud musical theater college dropout.

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So, yeah, I was certain anything remotely “classical” had forever damaged me. This weekend, that all changed. I found myself at Chicago’s historic and gorgeous Civic Opera House to attend the opening of Red Bull Flying Bach. You read that right. The press release explained that four-time breakdance world champions aptly known as The Flying Steps would “combine contemporary hip-hop power moves with live classical music.” WHAT! I live for break-dancing. It’s so spectacular and impressive and frightening, especially when the kids on the L train decide to go HAM on the subway poles. In the past, I related attending a ballet with taking too much Xanax, but Flying Bach gave me wings — aka it was presented by Red Bull, which meant I sipped vodka (blueberry!) red bulls whilst watching the show, most of the time with my jaw perma-dropped as a result of the killer choreography. The show gave me (so much) life, as the kids these days say. Guests wore suits and cocktail dresses whilst cheering like it was a hip-hop concert, ooh-ing and ahh-ing like it was a wild magic show. I watched as seven very good-looking male break dancers popped and locked and frenetically twirled on their heads to Bach and electro beats. I’m not kidding. It’s really difficult to explain the amazingness of it all. Lots of goosebumps happened. It gave me West Side Story (there’s a love story!) meets Stomp vibes. And in a sea of dudes, there was Swedish dancer Anna Holmström, who mixed it up by adding in ballet perfection (those leaps!) before (spoiler alert) joining the boys to break-dance her booty off for the explosive finale. In other words, y’all really need to head over to the OMFG adrenaline-exploding life-giving experience that is Red Bull Flying Bach. The final shows are this weekend in Chicago — get the golden tickets right here, right now.

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Post-show, I hit up the backstage where I fanned out/attempted flirting with The Flying Steps. I also chatted with the leading lady, the spectacular sizzling superstar aka Anna Holmström. Check out our cute chit-chat below. And, forreal, open another credit card, grab a few Red Bull and get thee to Chicago!!! Feel more than free to thank me later.

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Opening night!! How did you think it went?

Good! We got a lot of good responses from the audience. Even when I was not on stage, I was listening and checking out how they were reacting. We had standing ovations! That’s usually a good sign.

Any pre-show rituals?

I think everyone has his or her own ways of warming up, but I usually do a ballet bar, some stretching, and some hip-hop moves to get into the ending routines from the show.

Was breakdancing easy for you?

No, it’s not easy! I’m getting bruises everywhere. But with these guys, it’s easy to exchange movements. Also, the contemporary flow has some similarities to breaking on the floor. I’ve always been fascinating by breakdancing since I was a kid. For me, this project is perfect. I’ve been learning a lot.

Do you get along with the guys?

Yeah, we do! It’s like having seven brothers. Depending on situations, they’re bigger brothers or smaller brothers. We’re having a lot of fun.

You’re the only female in the show. Did you feel the pressure to stand out?

I think it’s important to know that I’m me. I’m not copying and trying to be a guy, it’s important to show my own originality in myself. I’m actually feeling like Beyoncé or Madonna when I go on stage, especially at the end of the show when I breakdance. To give a lot of power! They know who they are when they’re on stage. I’m just having a lot of fun.

So, is the Black Swan terrifyingly competitive vibes of a ballerina’s life true?

There’s not so many jobs — that’s the truth. And of course you’re competing amongst your friends to get the same job. But I’ve never felt bad if I wouldn’t get a job if I knew that I did all I could. And if I know that my friend is better than me and she got the job, I would be happy for her. Of course, if I feel that I did a better job, I would be angry. But sometimes they’re looking for someone with blonde hair or dark hair and blue eyes… so I think that instead of using the competition in a negative way, you can use it to get better and just think of always improving. It’s really nice in breakdancing, because when I’m watching them practice, they’re a little bit competitive but not in a negative way. They’re just trying to make themselves better.

What’s your dream job?

I actually want to create my own company and be the artistic director and choreographer. I’m starting to think about finding the dancers I want to work with. And incorporate subjects of today — how we look at things differently in society.

What was the most challenging number for you in the show?

I think all of them are really hard!

Images courtesy of Red Bull

Why We Live for Countess LuAnn

TGIF: I just spent an hour (…three hours) on a Countess LuAnn de Lesseps Googling binge. It was dazzling. I don’t ever want to come down from this royalty high. Countess remains the chicest housewife of them all, and I’m referring to every franchise, every season. (Does the Countess require releasing a sex tape a la another reality TV starlet in order to get her invitation to the Met Ball? She would never, darling, but she WOULD turn it out in her signature one sleeve form-fitting gown and with her legs-for-days on display. Your loss, Anna.) I just don’t understand how one couldn’t be obsessed with the Countess and her affinity for chunky statement piece necklaces. What’s there to like about the narcissistic mess known as Sonja. Aviva? I’m thinking about gifting her with a strait jacket. And while the horrific Ramona “crazy eyes” Singer crashes her Ramonacoaster through the upper east side on the regular, the Lesseps family built the Suez fucking Canal. Additionally, the Countess is a LGBT leader, gifting the gays with two marvelous music videos for “Money Can’t Buy You Class”:

and “Chic, C’Est La Vie”:

Slay. She also possesses the impressive talent that is “subtle shade.” It’s essentially hot piping truth tea with a side of polite and perhaps a hair flip and obviously a “darrrrling.” She can destroy you via gracefully telling you like it is. I’ve also had the privilege of meeting the Countess on a few occasions (who is flaw-free and quite kind in-person), including a quite chic magazine party at Milk Studios with attendees including Anja Rubik, Olivier Theyskens, Milla Jovovich et al. There was no other housewife in sight, and I wonder why??? Countess and I may or may not have bonded/LOLed over imagining Ramona, who’d totally obnoxiously bring her own bottle of ‘Ramona Pinot’, at the affair. In your “turtle time” dreams, Ramona. I realize I may be coming across as a bitch. But my aggravation has a lot to do with the aforementioned three musketeers aka perhaps the worst humans on the island of Manhattan and their unwarrented shade-catapulting towards the Countess this season. Like, Sonja and Ramona referring to Countess as “Luman” and “a drag queen trapped in a woman’s body.” (Countess’ iconic response: “I love drag queens, by the way!”) Additionally, I’ve spotted the recently single Countess (I love that she said she’s “keeping the title… and the jewelry”) on many an occasion at the Boom Boom Room. At a Boy George party (YAS COUNTESS!), as I was leaving around 2ish a.m., Countess was still fabulously sipping champagne bar-side with a handful of foxy suit-clad studs. In other words, she’s fucking fabulous and deserves to be celebrated. All can and should take a few classes with the Countess. Alas, here’s some of my highlights from my Countess google binge. You’re welcome.

Let’s start with this:
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CFDA trophy for best accessory right here:

LOL:

YAS:

YAS part two:

YAS part three:
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Go OFF Lu! (My favorite Countess quote so far — watch it here)

IS THIS REAL LIFE?

Here’s Countess telling it like it is in regard to former worst RHONY castmember, Alex McCord:
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Here’s Countess calmly speaking with Ramona about an issue whilst wearing a Rudolph ears headpiece. Ramona, on the other hand “holds the fifth…”

This Countess vs. Alex moment changed my life. Also, Countess knows how to give a fantastic exit: “Goodbye! Buh-bye!”

“Have a seat, darling”
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Here’s Countess “reading” a bitch:
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Here’s Countess having an eye roll at the messes.
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Here’s Countess celebrating her flaw-free fabulousness.
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Ditto:
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Unfuckwithable.
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When Ramona enters a room, Countess be like:
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Shutting it down:
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Idol:
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The end.
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P.S.
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P.P.S.
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Lana Del Rey SS ’14 AKA MTV Spring Break, Forever!

Today is very special. For one, the sun over on the East Coast has at last decided to cooperate with it being spring and all. More noteworthy, the elusive chanteuse known as, sorry Mariah (this is referring to the whistle note queen’s fantastic forthcoming album title, ‘Me. I Am Mariah… The Elusive Chanteuse’ for all y’all with a failed pop culture degree) Lana Del Rey has gifted the world with her already iconic video for the most transcendent song of SS ‘14 aka “West Coast.” The (obviously black and white) vid involves Lana in blue jeans, white shirt frolicking on a beach with that tattooed cutie that she plays with in a lot of her other iconic videos. It gives me my kind of spring break vibes — chain-smoking whilst spinning sloppily with the breeze in my locks/the waves crashing into my calves after too many xanax/strawberry daq combos. Also, hopefully beach sex. I think spring break takes place usually around Easter? I don’t care to remember — my mom wouldn’t allow me to do the messy spring break thing with my posse of Juicy-wearing mean girls who developed early-on kegger/cocaine issues, which, in retrospect is probably a very good thing. Plus, Ocean City seems really vile. Anyway, this immaculate “West Coast” video really got me thinking about spring break, specifically MTV’s Spring Break circa the TRL days. (Can you imagine Lana’s beachside performance in Cancun with her parliament on fire and she’s singing “oh baby, oh baby I’m in love”? Fuuuuck me.) I mean, Jerry Springer bringing his raunch-a-thon to Cancun is responsible for my tween-to-troubled teen/queen transformation. That shit deserved several Emmy’s. Also, the pop star performances were everything and, unlike the VMA’s, seemingly budget-free nary a fog machine, pythons as props, etc. What can I say? I love a stripped down pop star moment. In other words, (MTV) spring break, forever. Here’s my fucking highlights.

Foxy Brown — “Hot Spot” (1999)
Foxy shouting “Spring break, where you at!!!” is seriously getting me so bouncing around kinds of hyped while I type this mess at this coffee shop. Goosebumps, too. Also, take note of those game-changing green gloves, the way she holds that damn mic, those bomb ass dancers, etc. 1999 forever.

Spice Girls — “Wannabe” (1997)
Don’t. Get. Me. Fucking. Started. If this doesn’t make you smile, check that pulse, girl. (Sidenote: I’d just like to inform you that the Spice Girls sing live 94% of the time, so don’t you dare hate on this. Girl power.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdsPOoPZTes

Aaliyah — “One In A Million” (2000)
Everything about this. <3 (Remembs when pop stars could dance? Are those Oakley sunnies?)

La Bouche — “Be My Lover”
Those rafter-shaking soulful pipes. Those goosebump-inducing outfits. I don’t know what to do with myself.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufGUsaKKrPc

Jessica Simpson — “Irresistible” (2001)
LOL @ that moment when Jessica tried to come for Britney. Those “dance moves”… Slay Jess, slay!

Hi. Here’s N*Sync performing “Here We Go” during a “fashion show”??? N*Sync has got the flow? You’re welcome.

Destiny’s Child x Fashion show. Yeah, there’s that too.

No Doubt — “Spiderwebs” (1996)
I’m still crying over 1996, the greatest year that shall ever exist. Also, Gwen’s bangs.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IO_ySMC4n9E

And finally, I’d like to point out that MTV Spring Break peaked with Sisqo’s “The Thong Song.” I can’t even find it on YouTube. But there’s this clip.

Sing it with me. Or don’t.
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10 Things Wendy Williams Taught Me

I wish I could say Wendy Williams was my spirit animal, but she’s too fucking fabulous to even go there. I am not worthy. She’s a pearl; I’m costume jewelry. Other Wendy-related wishes/my bucket list: to be blessed enough to be on The Wendy Williams Show panel as a sassy “pop culture expert,” which would involve us together serving several cups of truth tea, which would mostly translate to shading Gwyn Paltrow (Wendy is not a fan, because she “takes herself too seriously” aka Gwynnie is basically just so vomit-inducing kinds of awful) and Kris “THAT WOMAN!” Jenner. Another wish: to have a tour of Wendy’s walk-in wig closet. This scenario visits my dreams often, which probably has something to do with my late night ritual of cuddling my cat/laptop whilst hardcore amounts of LOL-ing occur due to Wendy’s ‘Hot Topics’, which, FYI, is so much better than porn, late night Soul Cycle/Tracy Anderson sessions (Wendy would NEVER fuck with those messes), and other de-stressers. I enjoy Wendy’s “come close” moments on ‘Hot Topics,’ which is when the camera literally comes closer/zooms in on her beautifulness as she whispers some hot piping truth tea about [insert pop culture mess here].

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here. I’m living for the Tori Spelling drama as of late.) Someone give me a budget and I’d be so down to produce an infomercial advertising the ways in which Wendy can lift all clouds of depression. She’s loud, she’s proud (especially of her Jersey roots), and, I’ll say it again, she’s fucking fabulous — I also would like to interview her stylists who’ve got a serious penchant for colorful, form-fitting dresses (I was really into Wendy’s recent Easter Sunday look), and whom she constantly shouts out and features on her after show. Oprah might’ve given away small countries to her audience, but Wendy calls her audience her co-hosts! (She’s so genuinely nice and real and etc!!!!!) Sure, she isn’t the most PC — she’s gotten shit from like every damn “community” there is, but that’s just another reason why I am obsessed with her. I mean, she doesn’t call it the “tell it like it is” show for nothing. There’s also the iconic and quite addicting intro song which blasts as Wendy makes her grand entrance (before sashaying SO CUTELY in her heels to her seat and using her note cards as a napkin when she’s not feeling the excessive lipstick).

Another highlight is when the self-professed “girl’s girl” demands her celeb guests to give the audience some “shoe cam” (a camera which zooms in on often times especially sparkly shoes) — my favorite always being Whoopi Goldberg’s quirky kicks, specifically the light-up ones. Perhaps the best bit is her crazy ass audience who perpetually queen out for Queen Wendy. I dare you to try not to smile as her audience/“co-hosts” greet Wendy back with her signature “how you doin?!” at the show’s start complete with the double wrist flips. I’m not sure why I haven’t been up in that audience yet, living my dream out loud. Sigh. Until then, I’d like to thank Wendy Williams for making me very happy in addition for teaching me a slew of imperative life lessons. Which brings me to today’s Hot Topics! I mean, the Fan Out: What I’ve Learned from Wendy edition.

WENDY TAUGHT ME HOW TO BE BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE

There was a time when I attended some fancy event where I would meet Kelly Rowland (she’s lovely) and be too afraid to approach Jennifer Lopez. On that immaculate evening, I also met Wendy fucking Williams. But this was long before ‘Hot Topics’ would change my existence, so, no, I did not faint. I interviewed her briefly about her beauty tips, in which she revealed THIS:

“Chapstick and Aquaphor. But you know, I don’t wear a lot of makeup in my own life anymore, because I get so done up for the show. So now I have an appreciation for sunglasses and Chapstick… and a wig, of course!”

(She also told me that I have a beautiful smile.) P.S. She wore THIS.
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WENDY TAUGHT ME TO EDUCATE MY PALATE

Wendy’s always discussing what she made her beloved hubby and son for dinner on the after show, often using magazine tear-outs of recipes — she’s just like us y’all. But what really fascinates me is her affinity for a can of sardines. In this fantastic clip, you’ll find Wendy in her (fabulously decorated) office as she squeezes out the sardine juice into a plastic cup, spills aforementioned juice on seat (*huff* “there’s nothing worse than sardine juice on your couch”), spices up the sardines with a bottle of Red Hot sauce (which, sorry, Sriracha, is my favorite condiment,) pepper and something else but my eyes hurt as I paused the video and tried to zoom in. Oh well. She graciously reveals to her audience that sardines are a “safe fish” with “like no mercury at all” and “loaded in omega three and fatty acids.” Wendy recommends not paying attention to their “cute little sardine faces” and then makes her best cute little sardine face.

WENDY TAUGHT ME HOW TO REMAIN CALM, COMPOSED AND CUNTY WHILST DESTROYING THAT THING CALLED “OMAROSA”

This will be the best ten minutes of your life. My personal highlight is part two at 4:00 in which a standing ovation for Wendy obviously ensues.

PART 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOIC9L9TYe8

PART 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7LbxWsNBzY

WENDY TAUGHT ME THAT EVEN BARBARA WALTERS SOMETIMES NEEDS TO TAKE SEVERAL SEATS

I’ve hated Barbara Walters ever since she tried to come for the princess of pop aka Britney. Well, really, Barbs sat down with Justin Timberlake in an interview in which he’d essentially destroy and defame Britney right after their breakup for some promo for his shitty album, and, DARE I SAY IT, NOW VERY DATED “CRY ME A RIVER” SONG/VIDEO. Anyway, Barbara scares me. But she does NOT scare Wendy as seen in this clip. Barbara’s consistent shade had me grinding my teeth in fury, and Wendy does NOT play that. You’re my hero, Wendy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKE096tyspw

WENDY TAUGHT ME INNOVATIVE WAYS TO WIPE AWAY MY TEQUILA TEARS

Try it:
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WENDY TAUGHT ME TO ALWAYS REMEMBER TO SAY “ALLEGEDLY” WHEN GOSSIPING TO AVOID LAWSUITS

I counted four “allegedly”s in under a minute and a half.

WENDY TAUGHT ME HOW TO MAKE A DRAMATIC EXIT LIKE NO OTHER
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WENDY TAUGHT ME A WHOLE NEW VOCABULARY/WAY OF LIFE

Getting “turnt up” is so last season. It’s all about “dipping it ‘n’ doing it.”

Before she reads ridiculous celeb quotes from her note cards: “I’ll read. And then I’ll READ.”

When she’s all like “I feel bad even reporting this news,” but…. “It’s my duty.”

When she educates us: “I’m gonna break it down for you.”

Also, “clapation” is my ultimate Wendy-ism.

WENDY CONFIRMS THAT IT’S OKAY TO LOL AT PEOPLE WHEN THEY TAKE A MAJOR TUMBLE

WENDY CONFIRMS THAT IT’S ALSO OKAY TO SPIT OUT YOUR COFFEE/FALL OUT OF YOUR SEAT DUE TO LOLING

A must watch on all accounts. “I’m gonna break it down.”

IN SUMMARY, IF SOMEONE DOESN’T GET ME ON THE WENDY WILLIAMS SHOW ASAP, SOMEONE’S GONNA DIE! (ALLEGEDLY.)

That Time Courtney Love Tried To ‘Turn’ Me <3

“Hey! You know my name! I’ll bring the truth! I’ll never change!” aptly growls out the realest of them all, queen Courtney Love Cobain, on her newly released all kinds of immaculate screamo banger aka “You Know My Name” from her forthcoming album (!!!!). I loathe “journalists” who throw out the whole “comeback” thing, but this fucking jam comes across as Love announcing to the world something along the badass lines of “listen (skinny little) bitches, I’ve allowed you to have your little tumblr moment but I’m fucking back so take several seats.” I live for a mind-losing Love, and this song brings me back to her unraveling roots complete with those punk-y poetic lyrics. In other words, my soul has been reborn.

The don’t-you-fucking-dare-call-it-a-comeback song:

Spoiler alert: I’m going to brag a lot right now and you’re going to love it. So, about a year ago circa Coachella, I met Courtney Love at her (gorgeous and very clean) West Village townhouse. I was told that I was given ten minutes to interview her. I waited for about five minutes in her stunning living room where I’d bond with her very friendly puppy and housekeeper — if memory serves me right, Love was finishing up an episode of “30 Rock.” She’s just like us, y’all. Fast forward to an hour later, and I had chilled with Love in one of her many rooms where she’d dish on EVERYTHING (from championing a then undiscovered Rick Owens in LA during her styling days and considering taking a judge gig on one of the massive singing competition shows. “Not the one with Mariah.”) whilst a chain-smoking Love lounged on her plush sofa. (Fun fact: she told me she’d recently went from three packs to one pack a day. You go, girl.) A few weeks later, I’d be staying at a house in Palms Springs with Love and her team during Coachella. No big deal. I’ll admit that I missed the Hole boat during my formative years — Ginger Spice was my kind of punk, but over the years I’ve become obsessed with all things Hole. There’s nothing quite like attempting to hit those shriek notes on “Violet” in the shower, and I 100% recommend it because it’s fucking thrilling. Plus, you’ll save money on letting out your aggression via boxing classes/therapy sessions. It feels good to feel things, and I can confirm that behind her I’ll-slaughter-you-with-my-words exterior, Love is a LOVELY (yeah, I went there) emotional being. She is a Cancer, after all. Anyway, that (too) brief of a period in time where I pretended like I was BFF with Love forever holds a special place in my heart.

Oh, and another very important detail. Love played me a few new songs at her townhouse on that wonderful fucking day, all of which were amazing and on a ‘Live Through This’ 2.0 level, one of which was “Wedding Day,” which will be released on May 4th as the double A-Side along with “You Know My Name.” I believe I remember the word “snake” in addition to those insanely rafter-reaching, glass-shattering pipes, and I’ll prob play this on repeat before crashing the love of my life’s wedding. In other words, start preparing — y’all are not ready for the greatness that Love is about to graciously (and finally!!!) offer to the world. This includes a Hole reunion, a memoir and new fucking music (and maybe a Nirvana musical?) that I just know will blow minds/change lives. The resurrection of real rock ‘n’ roll is upon us. Thanks, love.

You KNOW what time it is. It’s time to fan the fuck out with my ultimate I love Love moments.

Starting with… this cover of “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)” from her MTV: Unplugged gig, which, wtf, was never released as a CD. Seriously. WTF.

Behind the scenes at the infamous Marilyn Manson x Courtney Love tour. This is required viewing. And fuck you, Manson. #TeamLove

Here’s a stalk-y video of Courtney Love being glam on the red carpet at the 1997 Academy Awards. It’s fascinating, and, no, I’m not being sarcastic.

Self promo alert: I think this interview I did with Love for NYMag a few fashion weeks ago was pretty amazing.

Select quotes include…

Her thoughts on Katy Perry: I’m not trying to be a bitch —

She’s a nice girl. But she just bores me.

And her thoughts re: the Gwennie Paltrow vs. Vanity Fair:

Gwyneth is one of my best friends. If Gwyneth says don’t do it, then fuck you, Vanity Fair! I’m going to stick up for her and be very articulate and you’re going to publish every word I say! If she had something she wanted to sell, or a movie or something like that, then she’d go to her publicist and say, “Let’s do Vanity Fair.” For Vanity Fair to do a write-around about Gwyneth is uncool and déclassé and boring and terrible of them. And it just shows you where Vanity Fair has fallen. They have Taylor fucking Swift on the cover getting a puppy.

More Gwen plus adderall thoughts:

She’s a great mentor. Gwyneth has never, ever given up on me — even when I was on Adderall and stuff, and I love her for that. [It’s a] terrible drug! And not only that, but everyone’s on it.
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Oh fuck it. Just read the whole thing.

Here’s Hole being iconic performing my personal anthem, “Violet,” at the ‘95 MTV Awards. Too bad there’s no reaction shots from Madonna et al.

Speaking of Madonna, there’s obviously this mesmerizing mess, which if you haven’t seen at least a million times, I want nothing to do with you/are you even real?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nh2hqnsAJY

Then there’s obviously Courtney’s infamous interviews with Barbara Walters, Letterman, etc. but I much prefer when she visited Rosie. And Rosie kept kind of shading her? And Love kind of shaded Rosie’s then BFF aka Madonna? It’s really fucking entertaining and I love it so much and etc etc.

Here’s Love talking fashion fuckery with Rebecca Romijn via MTV’s House of Style…!!! (Watch it here.)

Okay. DON’T even get me started on this amazingness.
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RIP The Face. But also, let’s take note of the LOL headlines next to Courtney.
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Oh YAS. That’s Courtney Love and Winona (forever) before Love sort of blamed Wino for her benzo addiction to The Fix. That’s a must read, btw.

I continue to live for Love’s signature leg on amp pose.
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Also, this.
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Then, there was that time in Palm Springs where Courtney fucking Love grabbed my crotch to, in her words, see if she could “turn me straight.” Didn’t exactly turn straight, did almost faint.
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I LOVE YOU FOREVER, MISS WORLD.
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It Gets Better, Smilers

I’m a grown man (27) but I still struggle with the whole “pop stars are humans too!” thing. Like Miley cancelling a slew of her #Bangerz tour dates due to a very serious allergic reaction or something. Too much turnt upness? I have no idea and have little interest in researching this, but I do hope she’s okay. Which brings me to a previous “Fan Out!” post, when Ginger Spice called it quits in the spring of ‘98, my (spice) world came crumbling down. And the timing was all kinds of traumatically terrible. Pretty sure I experienced my first stress-induced tween acne breakout, so thanks for that, Ging. Anyway, the gals had just wrapped their international tour, and were set to take over America in the summer. But Ginger decided she was more into becoming a UN Goodwill Ambassador (LOL) and a solo career (her debut solo video involves a Ginger Spice funeral scene, which is truly so fucked up and haunted me til their reunion tour in 2007). It was such a Leo move. And then there were four. Replacing Ginger’s raspy vocals with Sporty’s high-pitched belt, Scary’s growl, Baby’s angel coos, and Posh’s sultry R&B-tinged pipes (I seriously think Posh is an underrated vocalist, so deal with THAT!) was NOT OKAY in my Spice book. I still obviously went to the concert in my hometown of Pittsburgh (with my two cousins, my older sis, my dad, my uncle, and my awesome aunt, whose AIM screen name at one point was SPICEM0M) but it wasn’t the same — especially when I was told by the cashier at the merch stand that no, they no longer sold the Ginger Spice solo poster. (I still need to find that shit on eBay.) I settled for the tour shirt, which thankfully still featured Ginger and the gals. Alas, I recently lost that shirt, for which my laundry mat claims they had no part in, but that’s a whole ‘nother devastating story.

Here lies Ginger.
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In short, I’m feeling for the Miley stans. I just wanna tell all Miley fans who are reading this very important article, that it will be okay for you. Maybe. I mean, you’ll get a refund at least, unless you purchased the tickets for insane prices on Craigslist or whatever which sucks. But Miley’s just being Miley, and like I said, she’s a human just like other divas. Even Cher. Which is unsettling but it’s true. So, let’s hold hands, take a breathe, and reminisce together about two pop princesses/former Mouseketeers who came before Miley and who unintentionally broke our hearts.

BRITNEY
It only took me a few months to replace Ginger (I’m a fickle Sagittarius) with a new salacious idol. Are y’all familiar with Britney Spears? FYI: My bedroom walls back home in Pittsburgh are still plastered with Brit Brit posters and tween mag cut-outs which I find very comforting during the holidays. I remember sliding down my wall/getting tangled in my chorded phone after chit-chatting to a producer of MTV’s ‘Fanatic’ — I wasn’t fucking chosen. I designed my own Britney shirt at one of those mall stands to wear at her ‘Dream Within A Dream’ concert, and it read “I Love Britney” on the front, “BRITNEY’S SLAVE” on the back. At the concert, I screamed (and shouted, and let it all out *Brit Lyric Reference*), which resulted in her very scary sound guy to turn around and inform me to: “SHUT THE FUCK UP OR MOVE!” (I would later find his name in the tour book and write a letter to Britney’s fan club about the monster to no response.) Anyway, my pop universe was once again a mess with not one but TWO Britney tour cancellations.

The first was when “BOMT” (if you don’t understand this iconic Godney abbreviation then just get away right now) was beginning to ignite the charts, and Brit Brit was opening for *NSync. But then she fucked up her knee on the “Sometimes” video set, so she was “forced” to cancel the remaining dates of her tour. AKA I got fucked again, and had to sit through watching the, let’s be real, WANNABES known as girl group B*WITCHED’s set instead.
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Anyway, Britney’s knee surgery made headlines which accused the 16/17(?) year old of actually getting breast implants. What a mess.

But the holy spearit addressed that fuckery on SNL. Never forget.

I’ve renamed Britney’s “The Onyx Hotel Tour” circa 2003 the “Heartbreak Hotel Tour” because homegirl cancelled the second leg of the US tour because of her janky knee, again, which she allegedly fucked up whilst filming her “Outrageous” music video (featuring a salacious Snoop Dogg cameo in which she licks his face. YouTube it.). Her dancing has NEVER BEEN THE SAME since, btw. The timing was questionable though, because this was around the same time she met the devil known as K.Fed. Reminder: she met him at a club in LA, stole him from his wifey, and brought him on tour with her before cancelling it and getting married/knocked up. I have to say that I hate/loved their reality show, ‘Chaotic’ though.

Like this iconicness.

But it didn’t make up for not witnessing this vamp-y reinterpretation of “BOMT” from the tour. I forgive but don’t forget, Brit.
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XTINA
I can’t say that I was as bummed when Xtina cancelled her ‘Bionic’ tour, but I will say that I am a fan of the album (hi, she worked with Sia, Peaches, Linda Perry, et al) which unfairly “flopped” due to the Lady Gaga comparisons — it was during the Gaga golden age where if you like rocked oversized sunglasses or a red lip, you were automatically a Gaga wannabe. As if. Also, Xtina’s infamous quote didn’t help the situation: “I’m not quite sure who this person is, to be honest. I don’t know if it is a man or a woman.” The shade! Anyway, Christina cancelled her tour because she wanted to like, focus on promoting the soon-to-be-cult classic film, ‘Burlesque’ which starred Cher and loads of sequins and pasties and etc. Fast forward to a few months ago and you should remembs that Gaga and Xtina joined forces on ‘The Voice’ for a belt-a-thon of a duet, and all was right in the pop universe. But let it be known: there’s only one Legendtina.
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I don’t feel like it’s necessary to discuss the Gaga tour cancellations (she broke her hip or something and theatrically recounted her despair whilst promoting ‘Art Pop’ in every. single. interview). There’s also Mariah and Adele who’ve cancelled a bit due to temporary broken pipes and things like that and many more. Instead, allow me to leave you with some visuals of my favorite diva’s being humans. Yeah, I know it’s not nice to knock a diva when she’s down, but whatever.

(Blurry) Beyonce takes a tumble.
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Michelle Williams takes a tumble, Bey and Kelly are unfazed.

And here’s Pink almost dying. But the tour wasn’t cancelled!

Lastly. Britney “My pussy is hanging out!” Spears.

 

Top 5 Super Sassy Sartorially-Slaying Femme Fatales

Today’s meltdown alert: The X-Men: Days of Future Past trailer looks all kinds of transcendently incredible. Mostly because of Ororo Munroe, better known as Storm (miscast by Halle Berry if I do say so myself, damnit) rocking the pixie cut. It’s not as immaculate as the cartoon Storm’s mohawk circa the ‘70s, but it’ll do. Also, everyone’s dream BFF Jennifer Lawrence is in the movie. So there’s that. In related news, I think I’ll name my next cat Ororo. Anyway, I’ve had a major affinity for the super sass sartorial-slaying femme fatale since I was like seven. Which brings me to needing to take a walk/strut down Girl Power lane.
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The new trailer:

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Sorry Sarah Michelle. It’s all about 1992’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Shout out to the casting director for being amazing. Kristy Swanson plays Buffy, who transforms from vapid cheerleader boasting the best one-liners ever to a backflipping vampire slayer, all the while clad in a cheerleader uniform, a puffy prom dress, and/or lots of high-waisted denim/oversized flannels. Also, there’s my dream man Luke Perry, David Arquette, Hilary Swank (as a pre-Oscar trophy valley girl!), and the dude that plays Pee-wee Herman. The fashion is so good, right up there with the looks in another ‘90s gem, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead.

I can’t even deal with this behind-the-scenes video.

Bonus:
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XENA: WARRIOR PRINCESS
Xena: Warrior Princess changed my tween life. I totally mastered her iconic war cry/squeal, the “yee-yee-yee!!!” high-pitched thing. And I used a frisbee as an attempt to copy her weapon which I’d like to point out is very creative for a kid. Also, let’s discuss Xena’s outfit. YAS! There’s just something about a breastplate and metal mini-skirt that I really appreciate. Someone, PLEASE cast Lucy Lawless in something ASAP.

The Xena iconic battle cry:

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SABLE BOMB
While y’all were predictably obsessed with Pam Anderson, I was crushing on/wanting to be WWF Diva Sable. The badass bombshell’s catwoman-rivaling catsuits and the occasional high braided ponytail was everything. I loved her so much. When hearing her intro music, which involves the cracking of a whip and a lion growl, I’d lose my gay mind. And don’t get me started on those “evening gown matches” in which the winner must rip off opponents gown. Then there’s the iconic bikini tournament, which Sable won but later was unjustly disqualified. Because apparently the WWF doesn’t consider pasties a bikini top. You’re forever my winner, Sable.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VbuyYupJ_g

STORM
My ultimate superhero diva forever will be Storm, specifically the Fox Kid’s version. I’m still upset that my Storm action figure lost her arm in a battle with Skipper. I’m also forever haunted by the moments when Storm would freak out because of claustrophobia and soaring too high in the sky.
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THE YELLOW RANGER
My everything. The original yellow ranger. Totally my first crush. RIP to the actress behind the yellow suit, Thuy Trang, who was killed in a car accident (at 27!) in 2001. <3
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How To Cry In The Rain? This Playlist.

Nothing lasts forever. Yesterday mother nature was looking full-on gorge in NYC as noted by annoying Instagrams (At the pier! The park! The Highline! #IcedCoffeeWeather! Shut up!). Yesterday was also very important because of — NOT the moon deciding to bleed or whatever — but the music universe being blessed with new Lana Del Rey and Robyn tracks. *Faints* Anyway, I’m obsessed with rainy days as long as the wind isn’t fucking around and attacking my eyeballs/umbrella. It’s behaving today, which means I got to throw on my (p)leather hooded jacket. But most of all, I’m obsessed with chain-smoking-friendly rainy day music. What can I say? I’m a closeted emo. So, go on and embrace your emo with my teardrops-friendly playlist. THE INDIE DIVA EDITION. Dance in the rain! Disguise your tears as rain drops!

Wanna scream at the clouds today? You need a belting rock diva. Which brings me to the seriously underrated artist known as Lissie who possesses my favorite kind of goosebump-inducing pipes. She makes your soul come out of hibernation, your goosebumps dance, your heart palpitate, etc etc. In other words, listen to Lissie’s killer cover of “Mother” by Danzig. This one’s a MUST. (Also, buy her album ‘Back To Forever,’ especially if you heart Stevie Nicks because she’s basically her daughter or something.)

Another criminally underrated artist is EMA, whose brand new album ‘The Future’s Void’ will crush/invigorate your soul and I predict will 100% be top 10 on ‘Best of 2014’ lists. (Pitchfork lives for her.) She’s the real deal in a sea of It Girls who throw on a flannel and sometimes pick up a microphone for fun. Thank you for making me feel thangs and giving zero fucks, EMA.

Chairlift should be the biggest thing on the indie pop planet. Frontwoman Caroline Polacheck is perfection, her angelic and also haunting pipes are untouchable/unfuckwithable. Especially on her my-life-is-over ballad, “Cool as a Fire,” and especially when it’s flawlessly sung live/directed by Blackbook’s very own, Jacob Brown.

Apologies in advance but I can’t get enough of my favorite depressed diva, Lana Del Rey. Today I’m attempting to take a break from playing her new immaculate jam “West Coast” on repeat, so I switched it up with her recently leaked track, “Black Beauty.” The song overwhelms me too much to try to describe it. You the fuckin’ best, LDR.

No caption necessary here. Have a totally not depressed day y’all! <3

Lana Del Rey, My Jessica Rabbit 2.0

A big fucking deal happened to me yesterday morning: I woke up two hours BEFORE my alarm went off. I typically set 5-8 alarms and manage to sleep through all of them, so, yeah, like I said, a big fucking deal happened. In other words, thank you so much, Lana Del Rey. As you should know, the perpetually terribly sad siren’s insanely buzzed-about jam,“West Coast,” hit the web in the early hours, and nothing was the same, specifically my mind, which is now forever lost. I woke inexplicably at the foot of my bed and let out a yawn followed by a gay squeal before crawling to my window and onto the fire escape (did you like my pajamas aka floral swim trunks, construction workers?) to listen to the song whilst, of course, lighting a cigarette — because it’s what LDR would’ve wanted. On that note, don’t even get me started on those iconic promo billboards for her forthcoming LP, ‘Ultra Violence,’ featuring a flaw-free LDR dramatically biting on a cig. AKA you can find me taking a selfie later tonight in front of the billboard that y’all can apparently find off of the Morgan stop L train — perhaps at dusk complete with a cig pout whilst wrapping myself in a tattered American flag, because that’s what LDR would want too, right? I can’t wait.

Anyway. The song is all kinds of immaculate. I could talk for hours about her pipe’s major versatility. Like, how there’s moments where she’s all Jessica Rabbit 2.0 and then suddenly it’s like she sprinkled Xanax crumbs all up on her Coney Island icecream cone and decided to record a song. I’m so fucking obsessed. I’m probably on listen # 54 or so at the moment, and it’d be way more but I think it’s rude to not remove your earbuds when ordering coffee. The impressive thing is a new FEELING emerges with each listen! I don’t know what to do with myself! I’m so confused! My therapist is all about documenting these things called “feelings” but I lost my journal and I don’t like using iPhone “notes” because it’s not aesthetically pleasing. So, here you go therapist: my feelings (so far) via LDR GIFs.

The sassy drum intro got me feeling like
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Verse #1, basically
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“You got the music in you, don’t you?” (Yep. Ask Lindsay.)
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And I’m suddenly so sad. (CHORUS.)
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But then euphoric verse #2 got me like
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In addition to
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But then suddenly it’s becoming too much.
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Have I lost my way?
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It’s just that…
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I’m unraveling.
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I’m drowning in sad emojis.
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I’m a fucking MESS.
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I dare you to interrupt me. *Presses play again*
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