Part 5: Best and Worst Dressed


Just because musicians date models doesn’t mean they have any sense of style. Fashion faux pas doesn’t begin to describe the washed-up couture worn by these derelict dandies.

1. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

11 August 2006: Brooklyn, NY

I realize Karen O’s fashion statements are anti-fashion, and, in my own imaginative way I like her freewheeling wardrobes. But why is she dressed like the sex-child of Marilyn Manson and Punky Brewster, and why is guitarist Nick Zinner always in black and depressing? And why is drummer Brian Chase dressed like he doesn’t want to be anywhere near these other two people? Oh wait; I know why. (BB)

2. David Lee Roth

5 June 2006: The Tonight Show

Roth’s “Casual Friday” attire on national television wouldn’t have been bad for the average baby booming corporate clone, but for Diamond Dave it was cringe inducing. What made Roth’s frumpy jeans and button-down ensemble even worse was the grotesque permagrin he used to accessorize. Alas, some of us remember when he was the coolest guy around. (AW)

3. Morrissey

19 August 2006: Staffordshire, UK

Not so much a case of what the Mozfather wore, more what he let hang out. Even for someone as creepily vain as Morrissey, his frankly insane decision to rip three (yes, three!) different shirts off and jiggle about the stage — man boobs n’ all — defied all sense of logic and decency. Funnily enough, these were actually the best moments of his otherwise turgid set. (ML)

4. Radiohead

6 May 2006: Copenhagen, Denmark

No one is ever going to mistake these thirty something doughy Brits for fashion icons, but if things don’t change, we might confuse them with homeless backpackers or rogue daddies on a post-Old Navy shopping spree. Extra points for the band’s general avoidance of the gym and for Jonny Greenwood’s dangerously low-slung jeans and lack of underpants, which definitely showed the shocked Danish crowd Radiohead’s “dark side.” (MM)

5. Dirty On Purpose

13 December 2006: New York, NY

Joe Jurewicz, guitarist, and falsetto vocalist for Dirty On Purpose, wore a t-shirt emblazoned with a white Persian cat slyly playing a saxophone. The detail on the animal and instrument were painstakingly airbrushed, conjuring up images of Christopher Cross and getting lost between the moon and New York City. Eeeep… (RH)


In rock fashion, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it, and these folks know how to wear a Nun costume well.

1. Mountain Goats / Eames Era / The Shins

31 October 2006: Baton Rouge / New York / Las Vegas

In celebration of All Hallows Eve, the Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle donned full Batman get-up, Peter Hughes wore a ghoul mask, and natty maroon coat, and Franklin Bruno was dressed as Richard Simmons. Meanwhile, across the country, new-wave pop band Eames Era celebrated the holiday in full-length, furry chicken suits, and, in Las Vegas, the Shins winced the night away as nuns. Screw Christmas; every day should be Halloween. (AP/JL/JK)

2. Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins

12 October 2006: New York, NY

After a brief opening set, Lewis and the twins left the stage to do… something. Lewis hadn’t seemed the high-maintenance, costume-changing type. After a few moments of her band playing and introducing themselves, the women, previously dressed in long black dresses, ran back on stage in sequined Tina Turner go-go get-ups and did a huge theatrical rendition of a new song, “Fernando,” that felt like cruise ship entertainment for the hipster set… in the best way possible, of course. (EB)

3. Os Mutantes

21 July 2006: New York, NY

Dressed to make Paul Revere and the Raiders proud, Brazilian tropacalia legend Sérgio Dias led the infamous Os Mutantes in their first-ever US show donning a pair of tan riding pants and a long blue petticoat. Only a legend can carry what looks like pantaloons, and Dias was very much that, bobbing his head as the coat’s tail shook in time. Forty years after his band’s hey-day, the man is still as stick-small as he ever was. How does he stay so skinny? Maybe he really does ride horses… (AP)

4. Modest Mouse

17 Nov 2006: New York, NY

Ever ones to skirt expectations (Modest Mouse think about costumes?!?!), the seven-piece Pacific Northwest outfit ambled onstage wearing matching black-and-white shirts reminiscent of ’50s era jailbirds — well, everyone except Johnny Marr, who was dressed like an ’80s Brit rock legend, playing with unworthy criminals. (BB)

5. Make A Rising

Various: Various

Not ones to just dress up for special occasions, Philadelphia’s own Make A Rising surpass themselves time and time again, accenting their high-pitched ADHD chamber pop with masks (usually animals), myriad types of head dress, and un-ironic (i.e., not the Polyphonic Spree-type) robes. (KP)