1980s metal, without a doubt the most absurd era of grooming in music, hits the big screen this June in Rock of Ages, and we like what we see: really good actors with really bad hair, including Tom Cruise, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige and Alec Baldwin—who, in the trailer released along with Sherlock Holmes 2, declares, “This place is about to become a sea of sweat, ear-shattering music and puke.” Ah, 1987.
Simply put: the dudes looked like ladies, thanks to Technicolor spandex, eyeliner, cocaine and a shitload of Aqua Net Purple, glam-rock’s preferred brand of hair spray. In fact, it’s rumored that members of Poison would exhaust one or two bottles each, every show. Thus the whole ozone layer conundrum.
Stairway: The US Air Guitar Championships are happening right now, and if you’re reading this, that means you’re missing out. Sadly, the live video stream is down, but there should still be plenty of rock to go around. [World’s Best Ever]
But Do They Have Batman?: Portland’s Floating World Comics is our favorite store of the day. [WeJetSet]
Dog Day Icon: Apparently the “Facebook guy” who used to pop up on the upper left of the screen was actually Al Pacino. Hoo ah? [Mashable]
Lifetime Achievement: In honor of his 70th birthday, here’s some pictures of Alex Trebek being drunk, smug, and generally awesome. [Urlesque]
We’re always up for tales of rock ‘n’ roll debauchery, so we’re more than a little excited for The Runaways. So much so, that we’re going to pretend we’ve never heard of this Twilight business.
Even if it’s not a masterpiece of film (and the jury’s still out), we’ll be happy if it means getting the band’s catalog back into the world’s DJ crates. If you haven’t bothered, you might be in for quite a surprise. This one, for instance, is a hell of an album, and the beautiful-girl-gone-badass look doesn't hurt one bit. Their sound is more Cheap Trick than Ramones—under other circumstances, we might even describe it as cock rock—which should make it the perfect soundtrack for tales of booze, drugs and music-industry shenanigans.
At least until someone gets around to filming the Blondie story.
This shirt comes from What Comes Around Goes Around, which was best known as the most selective, semi-secret vintage shop in New York until this year, when they started putting out clothes of their own. Not surprisingly, it’s got a bit of a retro feel…
It’s called the Iggy Shirt, and while they say the inspiration is 80s punk, it strikes us as closer to early 60s mod. We wouldn’t be surprised to find a shirt like this on Mick Jagger or an ex-mod like Pete Townshend.
In the spirit of the wood radio, an enterprising Dane (via NotCot) has set up this radio out of rock and a few choice wires. It’s minimal—just two knobs and three connectors in the back—but it gets the job done, and it’s bound to look better on top of your receiver than whatever you’ve got currently. And the Flintstones would most certainly approve.
John Varvatos has been drawing on music-industry cool for long enough, it was only a matter of time before he made the connection official. But we were hoping it wouldn’t be quite so much like a reality show.
It’s called Free the Noise, and to be fair, it’s closer to the more credible custom known as the Battle of the Bands. Aspiring bands upload clips of their act onto the website, finalists are chosen to face off at JV’s Bowery location (former home of CBGBs, if you recall), and the winner walks away with a development deal from Island records and a series of spots in Varvatos’ Star USA ads.
Sounds like a good deal, but a record deal isn’t what it used to be. And doesn’t the whole thing seem a bit rockist?
The haul includes a surprisingly sartorial Mick and Keith, plenty of shaggy Beatle shots, and a rare shot of James Brown at work in front of a piano. As usual, they’re at their most stylish when you catch them at work.
It’s one of the less useful rules of style, but worth remembering: If you’re a rock star, you can get away with just about anything. There are still limits though, and these boots might just fall outside them.
Made for Justin Tranter of the Semi-Precious Weapons, they’re a size 12 with a patent leather model still in the works. We love glam rock as much as the next guy, but the trick is usually to come off like an androgynous alien, not a cross-dressing off-duty policeman.
Music criticism usually lands somewhere between snark and self-indulgence—neither one of which is that compelling—but every once in a while, the stars align and someone writes something so great it justifies the whole enterprise. And hopefully, it has a few jokes about Axl Rose’s corn rows.
The long-delayed Gun and Roses album Chinese Democracy is currently making the review circuit, and fate brought it into the pale hands of one Chuck Klosterman, an occasional Esquire essayist and all-around metal savant. In other words, it’s a dinosaur rock critic reviewing a dinosaur rock album, and they’re both giving it all they’ve got.
It might be the best record review we’ve ever read. You get the feeling that Klosterman spent a solid week listening to the album on repeat and drinking enough coffee to kill a horse. In his own words, “I've thought about this record more than I've thought about China, and maybe as much as I've thought about the principles of democracy.”
The line between the fans and the artists just got a little thinner.
Boston Globe arts reporter Geoff Edgers is taking it upon himself to reunite the Kinks. Luckily, he’s bringing someone along to document the process and wrapping the packaging the whole thing as a feature documentary titled Do It Again. The whole thing’s still in-progress, but that didn’t stop them from putting together this trailer to keep the ball rolling with crucial endorsements from Zooey Deschanel and Sting, among others.
Of course, the Kinks have only been broken up for twelve years, and their last decade of activity was kind of a shambling embarrassment…but hope springs eternal. And they still deserve a victory lap more than the Eagles.