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The Kempt Five

  • Caitlin Ganswindt
  • Eric Twardzik
  • Jason Wire


Every Wednesday we’re giving you a deeper look into what makes the minds behind Kempt tick. We call it: The Kempt Five.

Brittany Howard. Total Fucking Badass. “The Alabama Shakes kicked off the MB Evolution Tour last week—and I’ll be goddamned if she isn’t the most badass lady in the business right now. On the radio, maybe they’re just another of-the-moment folky pop band, but live, Brit sells them as an enterprise. She’s got a James Brown kind of gumption happening with her moves and the musicality of Hendrix or Page or Richards in their prime—just crazy chops. Wanna be her.” —C.G.

0730Kempt-Five-Nathan-For-YouNathan for You. “This new ‘docu-reality’ show is a hilarious combination of the absurd and genius—sort of what I imagine Sacha Baron Cohen would create if he were behind Punk’d. The host, Nathan Fielder, ‘graduated from one of Canada’s top business schools with really good grades’ and sets out to help struggling business owners... sort of. Explaining it really wouldn’t do it justice, so you’ll just need to stream an episode free here.” —J.W.

0730Kempt-Five-Childhood-SprezzChildhood Sprezz. “I always felt my style conscience emerged around age 19, somewhere between shaking off my adolescent coil of baggy hoodies and parting my hair for the first time. But last weekend I watched an old recording of my kindergarten graduation, and made a startling discovery: I was absolutely nailing sprezzatura as a 6-year-old. A double-breasted blue blazer with only the single, bottom button done; a wide tie nonchalantly draped over the jacket; an icy, vaguely disapproving stare. It turns out my style peaked right around the time I learned how to read, and I’ve been playing catch-up ever since.” —E.T.

0730Kempt-Five-UkuleleEthan Hawke Made Me Buy a Ukulele. “The chain of events is as follows: 12 or so years ago, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater start making Boyhood. This summer, Boyhood comes out in theaters. Around then, Ethan Hawke posts The Black Album—a mix of Beatles solo songs that he gave to the kid from the movie—to BuzzFeed. Which leads me to recreating the mix and listening to it obsessively. Which leads me to revisiting George Harrison’s excellent uke version of ‘The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea,’ from his final album, Brainwashed. Which leads me to thinking, ‘Hey, maybe I could play a ukulele.’ Which leads me to, last night, procuring a ukulele. I can’t play it, it can’t hold its tune, and it’s great. And call it kismet, but I ran into Ethan Hawke at the coffee shop yesterday. Didn’t get to tell him the story, though.” —P.L.U.

0730Kempt-Five-Freemans-Sporting-Club-Winchester-TrouserFreemans Sporting Club Winchester Pants (in Orange). “I recently picked up a pair, and couldn’t be happier about it. The damn things just fit. And they’re named for a gun. And they’re part of FSC’s Big Sale. And... you get it.” —P.L.U.