Archive for the ‘American Glamour’ category

Joining the 27 Club isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be

2010/07/13

A lot of American musical heroes have died at the age of 27. Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. Heck, Brian Jones was from England but you can count him too. Superstars dying while still in their prime has become the climatic symbol of rock-star excess and glamor – the ultimate and almost necessary outcome for those who believe it’s better to burn out then to rust.

But there have been other American musicians that have died at age 27. While their deaths have still been incredibly tragic and often taken place under mysterious circumstances, their stories have lacked the excess and glamor of  “the Big-Five.”

Mia Zapata is perhaps the best example.

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That Tom-Tom Club bought all the Wack Slacks, Fuzz, Plats and Kickers!

2010/07/06

Way back in 19 and 92, just over a year after Nirvana’s Nevermind was released – “Grunge” was declared a “Success Story” in the New York Times. The article was aptly titled… “Grunge: A Success Story.”

Written by Rick Marin and published on 15 November 1992, the feature story on the style and fashion of grunge  traces its beginnings as “a five-letter word meaning dirt, filth, [and] trash” all the way to Seventh Avenue in New York City where it became the focus of Marc Jacobs’ “spring Perry Ellis collection.”

Hence, the “success” can be explained by this mathematical formula:

expensive fashion designer + good-looking models + other people cashing in = SUCCESS

MarcJacobs Grunge

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red white and blue upon a birthday cake

2010/07/05

A song for the day after America’s birthday:

the Killers – Sam’s Town (on Abbey Road)

I took a bullet and I looked inside and
Running through my veins
An American masquerade

I still remember Grandma Dixie’s wake
I’d never really known anybody to die before
Red white and blue upon a birthday cake,
My brother he was born on the 4th of the July

Nobody ever had a dream round here
but I don’t really mind that it’s starting to get to me

I see London
I see Sam’s Town

Forced Exposure

2010/06/25

Here’s a link to an opinion article written by David Brooks called “the Culture of Exposure.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/25/opinion/25brooks.html?hp

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Cars + Freedom = America

2010/06/21

As everyone on the other side of the pond and at least a handful of people over here know, the United States recently won a football match against England in the World Cup, when the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

To celebrate the match, remind the British of America’s revolution once again, and of course sell cars, Dodge made a commercial for the 2010 Challenger that has King George III‘s redcoats facing off against George Washington and his band of motor vehicles.

The advert has it all – American folklore, the British running from Washington (and his car) in fear, and a narrator professing that “here’s a couple of things America got right – cars, and freedom.”

Every nation does it, but nobody does it better than America. I don’t mean making cars or being free, but propelling patriotism and creation myths into the national consciousness.

Some people think that such a practice hasn’t always made things work out so well for the United States. Others, like Stephen Colbert, use it as a vehicle for brilliant satire. In the case of this commercial, it just ends up being a lot of fun.*

*Yes, a lot of people probably disagree with me that it’s all in good fun. So go ahead, that’s why George Washington gave you the freedom to leave comments.