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Latest Blog Posts

by Eleanore Catolico

3 Dec 2009

Doesn’t the Old English typeface say it all?  Loaded with pictures of pistols, Lickshot just screams bad ass. Lickshot, New-York based photographer Ben Watts’ photo scrapbook and travel diary, is an ideal stocking stuffer for the provocative-at-heart, not least your kid who just graduated from art school. Watts’ dynamic, renegade photography captures the primal in his subjects; a street theater of gang bangers, skate punks, metal heads, and entertainers including Heath Ledger, Benicio Del Toro, Guy Pearce, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg. The book also features an interview with Watts by Vanity Fair editor Ingrid Sischy that delves into Watts’ biography. These gun photos are in-your-face intense.

by Sean Murphy

2 Dec 2009

I’m so proud of my Pops.

Last night, quite out of the blue (or, out of the black, as the case may be), he said he had to ask me a “technical question.”

I braced myself, prepared to disappoint him. A “technical” question had to mean he was going to ask about computers, and I would have to remind him that, despite working closely with them for almost two decades, I probably know less about the inner workings and mechanics of these things than the average ten year old.

To my considerable relief, it was a question about music.

To my considerable delight, it was a question about Black Sabbath.

by Jason Gross

2 Dec 2009

Even if you’re like me and you don’t care for her music (can’t wait for all the hate mail about that), you have to admit that Susan Boyle is easily one of the biggest phenom’s in the music biz this year.  She didn’t do it by letting fans set their price for her album or trying new and innovative things through social media but just the ol’ fashion way- selling lots of records.  She even beat out Eminem for the best first-week sales of his year.

So how do you explain how she became such a huge star?  For one thing, there’s no denying that she has a great voice, even if you don’t care for what she’s singing.  But there’s lots of great singers out there who’ll never reach her level.  Here’s a few reasons why:

* Simon Cowell and his company deserve lots of credit for setting the whole thing up in the first place. Of course, not every singer he works with through his companies (i.e. American Idol) get to this level but having that platform in the first place was a huge boost for her.  Earlier this year, I talked about how Cowell set up the story about her in the first place.

* The Anti-model Factor. I haven’t seen any of the record buyers polled about this but I’d wager that since Boyle doesn’t look like your typical singing star, lots of people were rooting for her since they don’t have hot bods either (I sure as hell don’t).

* The story behind her. Again, I think this is another (non-musical) reason that many people were rooting for her. One day, she’s nondescript and unknown and then suddenly she becomes a star. And unlike many other instant stars who don’t deserve the fame, she actually does.

LATE THOUGHT: After Beyonce and Taylor Swift got all the Grammy nominations, it’ll be an interesting battle to see who wins next year and (at least temporarily) wears the diva crown but in the meantime, Boyle has them both beat in initial sales (Swift’s last album sold less than Boyle’s in first week sales, ditto Beyonce).

by Tyler Gould

2 Dec 2009

This Marina is a slippery character. On the one hand, the anti-consumerism invective of “Hollywood” is a tad on the puerile side, but the ironic pageant queen smile, the oversaturated disdain for the red, white, and blue, and the punchy chorus all make schadenfreude cool again.

by Michael Landweber

2 Dec 2009

For the last few seasons, Heroes has lost viewers at a steady rate. If it was on any network other than NBC, which seems to have less concern for ratings success since the Jay Leno experiment, its cancellation would be all but guaranteed after another drop this year. But the show still has fans. Despite being frustrated by the ill-defined characters and incomprehensible plot twists, I’m one of those who has watched the show from episode one and plans to stick with it to what is increasingly looking like a bitter end.

There is still hope to salvage the show for the diehard viewers. But it will require that NBC cancel it first. 

This is not unprecedented, of course. Lost is about to start its predetermined final season. A couple of years ago, the producers and ABC got together and decided how many more episodes were needed to wrap up the show. Such collaboration and scheduled cancellation should be the new industry standard for serialized mythology shows.

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