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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Once Rock Stars Looked Like Models But Now Models Look Like Rock Stars

Talk about turnabout, we’ve reached it in rock ‘n roll fashion. It’s been a long time since rock musicians influenced style. In the past, rock stars as diverse as The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, and even Kraftwerk resonated in the way kids dressed themselves. Kids always looked up to rock stars to check out The Cool New Look.

That’s all gone now: musicians fall into one of two categories these days: 1) American Idol-type puppets, trussed up and painted up by a team of style professionals that think tossing on a distressed New York Dolls bootleg t-shirt and forking their hair like a petrified parrot is rock style; or, 2) “Alternative” guys who dress like slobs and look more like roadies than the roadies themselves. Bands have ceased to invent cool new looks we can dig, and that’s depressing.

The great irony is that a small handful of models currently embody rock style better than anyone holding a guitar or microphone. True, they’re being dressed by high fashion designers and coiffed by fashion pros, but it’s what they’re doing with all those elements that look more rock ‘n roll than anything I’ve seen in the past twenty years.

Paul Boche is from Eisenach, Germany, and in the past five years has been one of the most sought-after models in the fashion industry. His resume reads like a Who’s Who of the most cutting edge designers in modern fashion: John Galliano, Ann Demeulemeester, John-Paul Gaultier, Roberto Cavalli, Simon Spurr, Rick Owens, and Alexander McQueen. He’s currently represented by eight different modeling agencies (Holy Shit!), and was chosen to be the Face of Lanvin en Bleu in 2010. He’s already been booked to catwalk for 10 different designers this year on New York, Paris and Milan Fashion Week.

Paul Boche is a model who effortlessly emulates rock & roll style. When his hair is short he recalls David Bowie, Alec Empire, or a new wave icon from the Eighties, and when he wears it long he resembles a glam rock star like Mick Ronson or Marc Bolan. His rock star looks make you want to wear everything he’s photographed in, and it’s a refreshing change from the predictable look of models with short, chopped hair, bland faces and G.I. Joe bodies. If there’s a model I can follow like a rock star it’s definitely Paul Boche.

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If there’s a female counterpart look no further than Charlotte Free. Looking more like a punk rock star than a fashion model, Free has also been burning up fashion editorials and shows in the past few years. Just like the best punk rock, however, her arrival on the fashion scene was controversial, the reasons being: 1) She stands at only 5’7”, a shrimp by modeling standards; and, 2) fashion snobs think her multi-colored hair looks limit her to a “Hot Topic Princess” look. Her detractors, mostly jealous females, are outnumbered by a larger group of young girls that identify with her, raising her to heroic status. Just like the best punk rock, the formalists are pissed but the kids get it.

Originally from Los Angeles, California, Free has modeled for Vivienne Westwood, Jeremy Scott, Marchesa, and Moncler Gamme Rouge, among others. Whether she becomes the model of the moment or not doesn't matter, she’s one of the most unique faces in fashion since the heyday of models like Twiggy and Peggy Moffit. And of course, you gotta love a model that gets so many snobs upset.

At this point in time the most inspired rock star looks are coming from models like Free and Boche, and like the best rock groups make me look forward to seeing what they’ll do next.

Suggested web sites: Paul Boche: paulboche.livejournal.com, or fuckyeahpaulboche.tumblr.com

Charlotte Free: fuckyeahcharlottefree.tumblr.com

Friday, January 6, 2012

365 Days In The Hole

If there’s one thing every man, woman and child can agree on it’s that the year 2011 was a complete washout, a year in which everyone happily relinquished their privacy for the sake of social network superstardom, real or imagined, mostly imagined; a brutal internet undercutting millions of struggling businesses and big box ones, too, resulting in mass layoffs numbering in the millions, creating a new age Depression. Of course the rule is to never call it a Depression, but that’s what it is: when even rich fat cats are sweating bullets over their money it’s called a Depression, there’s no other word for it. Will there be a recovery? Well, as Jerry Butler once sang, “Only The Strong Survive”. Draw your own conclusions. This was the year that was:

January – Went to the NAMM (North American Music Manufacturers) show in Anaheim, a real feeding frenzy of rock lemmings practically walking over each other to get to the nearest BC Rich exhibit. I never heard so many slapback bass playing assholes in my life. The whole place sounded like the “Seinfeld” theme shoved in your face on an eternal loop. A sonic nightmare.

I shredded my thumb on the cheese grater. The cheddar cheese slipped and my thumb grated against the blades. Much bleeding and screaming followed. Reminded me of the joke about the blind man who bled to death reading a cheese grater. Don't groan, Wreckless Eric told me that joke.

Began my second serial “Red Coffee”, a dark horror version of the William Wellman Pre-Code films of the Thirties, and I enjoyed the direction that I took with it.

February – Valentines’ Day in Hollywood was pretty funny. I heard a lot of car brakes screeching, horns honking and drunks screaming at each other. It’s nice to know that people still know how to have a good time and keep it all romantic.

Helped Rebecca fabricate an exotic tablecloth for artist Gary Baseman. It looks really cool with images of Shiu-Shiu and other creepy crawly critters in the Baseman style.

Told the LA County Board of Supervisors to go shit in a hat and walked out on my nightmare job. Don’t be a bitch unless you want to learn how to be an ever bigger one from me. Fuck those bloodless assholes.

March – Rebecca’s on tour with KISS so I’m home alone and hanging out on the Sunset Strip (internet stalkers take note). Once she got back we went down to Sony Studios in San Diego to work on the “Twisted Metal” video shoot.

April – After having my personal effects Fed Ex’ed to me from the County, they sent two Sheriff’s Deputies over to my home to ask me to call my former supervisor at work (I didn’t, and since this event he has also left the Department).

Worked on an outfit for Nick Cannon on his TV show. Rebecca’s colleagues have been hustling her for work and they’re pissed that I’m in the picture. Too fucking bad.

May – Went to the American Cinematheque on Mother’s Day to see “Mommie Dearest”. If there’s anything better than Joan Crawford it’s Faye Dunaway playing Joan Crawford. Brilliant. I don’t even care if the whole thing is bullshit.

Saw Terri Wahl on TV talking about her organic restaurant, and read Steve Albini’s snobby foodie blog. Bloody hell, punk’s gone gourmet.

This month marked Vincent Price’s 100th birthday and Bob Dylan’s 70th birthday.

June – Worked on the wardrobe for two video games, “Batman: Arkham Asylum” and “Gotham City Impostors”. Grabbed material, fabricated wardrobe and fitted all the actors. Finally some work I can enjoy.

Helped Rebecca with a Cheese and Meat outfit for a Weird Al Yankovic video where he’s rippin’ on Lady Gaga, “Perform This Way”. The outfits turned out great and got tons of publicity.

Designed and sewed the Steak Bag I posted on my blog in June and then put up for sale on Etsy. It’s funny: everybody thought they had a shot at getting it for free, but once I put it up for sale they all shut up. Thanks for the support, bozos.

Watched a Logo TV Special on gay bars in Palm Springs and caught a former straight client of ours on the show frolicking in a lesbian bar. I guess she finally broke on through to the other side. We always suspected, heh.

Dressed a 10 foot tall statue for Comic Con; it needed a big black leather coat. Try making a 10 foot tall leather coat. It’s tougher than hell, but we pulled it off.

July – Ran into Marc Anthony Thompson at the opening of the Don Ville store. I haven’t seen him in over 20 years. He looked great, and I was happy to see him.

A friend from LA County told me that no one is allowed to mention my name at all in the office. It’s taboo, like invoking the spirit of Beelzebub, Beetlejuice or Mr. Mxyzptlk.

Reading a lot of rock biographies lately: Joe Boyd, Buffalo Springfield, Vivian Stanshall, and Patti Boyd. That’s what summers are for, reading about rock music while you’re listening to it.

August – Making all kinds of things this month: black leather aprons, tablecloths, silkscreened tank tops, and started work on some gold denim jeans.

September – Funny how I was sick all last year from work, and now that I’m away from the place I haven’t gotten sick at all.

Finally found a library that has the entire Mushroom Planet series books I enjoyed when I was a kid. Eleanor Cameron is the greatest, the O.G. science fiction writer for kids, not counting Victor Appleton, of course.

Worked on the David LaChapelle shoot for Smirnoff’s new Marshmallow Vodka. We created PVC marshmallows to cover classic statues. I think we made about 100 marshmallows altogether. Michelle Carr from Jabberjaw worked on the job, too, and it was great to see her again.

October – After writing a blog about the joys of smoking I had to quit because my body put up a weird protest (I’ll spare you the details). So I’m not puffing away anymore, but I’d be a liar if I told you I didn’t miss it.

“Lick My Decals Off, Baby” is finally available as a digital download, reasons for rejoicing given the way it’s been held up for over a decade making all Captain Beefheart fans miserable and anxious. What this world needs is a good 2 dollar room and a good 2 dollar broom.

Lacerated my thumb, bleeding profusely and requiring five stitches, prompting an emergency ride to Cedars-Sinai Emergency Center. This is the same one I shredded on the cheese grater. Fucking hell.

Pan Pacific Park held a Halloween carnival with rides and circus snacks. A lot of the guys working the rides acted like carnies: every time I took Rebecca’s pictures around the rides, they’d turn their backs or cover their faces, ho ho ho!

November – Started collecting my retirement pay, so this year ends with a happy ending.

Remixed the No Policy studio and live tapes, and they should be coming out at some point in 2012. Montreal hardcore at its finest.

December – Began laying down the groundwork for the new serial that’ll begin at the end of January, and it should be pretty intense stuff.

This year ends with some psycho pyromaniac setting fire to cars and carports all over Hollywood. Fire engines and helicopters echo around our house, setting the theme to an end of a very turbulent year.

Stuff I enjoyed this past year: I read a lot of Chester Himes, Patricia Highsmith, and the amazing Sebastien Japrisot.

Great music I heard this year: The Equals, Al “Jazzbo” Collins, and so many yodeling records my visiting father-in-law thought I’d gone insane. He’s probably right!