After I saw Alexander McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibit at the Met a few years ago, I was convinced that I saw the best fashion exhibit I would probably ever see. I was wrong! The Brooklyn Museum has an insanely cool exhibit by designer Jean Paul Gaultier entitled: “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” and if you like fashion, you cannot miss this exhibit. First off, the presentation of the outfits is great. Each of the seven main rooms has a different theme, from the streets of Paris to his cinematic influences and over 140 outfits are on display. As an added bonus, if you are a Madonna fan, sketches, rare photos and iconic outfits (such as the cone bra bustier) are on display.
Madonna’s Blonde Ambition Tour outfits
The exhibit also does something unique (which will be emulated in exhibits to come) whereby the mannequins have facial projections to make the exhibit even more interactive.
The photos you are seeing here are a tiny portion of the exquisite outfits that are on display, and of course, you cannot see the detail that was crafted into each garment.
Clearly, it’s not wise to compare the work of two designers who drew from different inspirations, but McQueen’s “Savage Beauty” exhibit kept coming to mind (possibly because of the breadth of the costumes and the various thematic rooms) and whereas I had a very creepy feeling in the McQueen exhibit (that foreshadowed his suicide), whereas Gaultier’s exhibit is much more colorful and lively.
Don’t worry if you are not a Madonna fan – outfits worn by Kylie Minogue, Mylene Farmer, Depeche Mode, Nirvana and Cameo (yes, Cameo!) are represented in this show.
Remember this outfit that caused a commotion when Madonna wore it?
In the photo below, the mannequins were on a revolving platform that gave the illusion that you were watching a live fashion show. Very well done!
And presented without comment – more amazing images from this must see show!
Jean Paul Gaultier
Jean Paul Gaultier
Unseen Polaroids of Madonna and Gaultier circa 1990
Jean Paul Gaultier
And last but not least…
Gaultier — The Merch!
There is also a fantastic coffee table book of the exhibit that I looked through, so if you cannot make it out to the Brooklyn Museum before February 23, 2014, you should definitely think about getting it.
Photos by G. Autographs obtained in person by yours truly.
2013 was a good year for new artists releasing music. The hype machine of the internet and anti-social media will do its best to keep you inundated with industry darlings and keep you scratching your head wondering “why in the world are these artists popular?” If you want an alternative to all that, read on for my list of the 13 best debut albums. These artists impressed me both on stage and off. I have my fingers crossed that all of the people on this list become huge stars. To help make that happen, get these albums and spread the word.
Jessie Ware – Devotion
1. “Devotion” by Jessie Ware. Jessie Ware not only has my favorite album by a new artist in 2013 but she also has the distinction of being my favorite album by ANY artist in 2013. The fact that she beat my beloved Pet Shop Boys in this competition speaks volumes! Her debut “Devotion,” is a perfect record. She’s got the voice, she’s got the look and she’s got 12 songs that have had me wearing this album out in 2013. I have listened to this album over 200 times (per my iTunes dashboard) and I cannot get enough of this album. Think of Jessie’s music as the missing link or a bridge between the power ballads of Adele and the smooth down-tempo R&B grooves of Sade. From the opening title track, Jessie Ware tells her audience “I need your devotion,” over a silky beat. I remember the first time I heard this song, my jaw dropped open there was no doubt that she will always have my devotion. The song “Running,” is one of the sexiest tracks committed to tape and her more danceable songs like “Imagine It Was Us,” “If You’re Never Gonna Move” and “No To Love,” will have you reaching for the repeat button long before the tracks are over. The slow jams “Night Light,” “Wildest Moments,” “Taking in Water” and the introspective “Something Inside” are all excellent and you may find yourself participating in a private lip-synch competition as you listen to these songs in public. Jessie Ware has also had a bunch of non-album singles and collaborations with the likes of Disclosure, Sampha, Katy B, Mayer Hawthorne and has released an on-line cover of Prince’s “Love…Thy Will Be Done,” and all of these songs are excellent. In concert, she doesn’t simply reproduce the studio versions, but instead gives her band the opportunity to change up the music, but one thing remains – her voice is a powerhouse. Her banter to the crowd in between songs is so precious, you will want to take her home with you. While we wait for the world to catch up on the greatness that is Jessie Ware, she’s already a mega-star in my book and I am very excited for her future! Thanks for bringing so many smiles to my life Jessie!
2. Jake Bugg by Jake Bugg. When you hear Jake Bugg’s debut album, you will be wowed by the songwriting as the folk/rock singer has so many songs that take you back to a time in the past. There are times he sounds like Dylan and times he sounds like Johnny Cash. What will impress the hell out of you is that Jake Bugg is not a 40 year old troubadour, but instead is 18 years old! Songs like the rockin’ “Lighting Bolt” and “Taste It” are a glimpse of how much he can rock and tracks like “Fire” and “Country Song” are so introspective, there is no doubt that Jake Bugg is going to be a huge star. The only JB you should concern yourself with is not Justin Bieber, but instead, Jake Bugg!
Foxygen – We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic
3. “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic” by Foxygen. Remember when MGMT jumped the shark and instead of making sophomore pop record, they made a meandering art rock record with few catchy songs? Well, if they would have made that same record with songs were catchy, it would probably sound like “We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic.” There are songs that have a Beatles/Stones/Kinks quality to them and they have great lyrics such as “There’s no need to be an asshole, you’re not in Brooklyn anymore.” If you see Foxygen live, lead singer Sam France dances all over the place and has a hypnotic stage presence. I’ve read a lot on the web this year about various tensions within the band and I hope they are not true because Foxygen has great potential to be the next go-to psychedelic rock band.
Savages – Silence Yourself
4. “Silence Yourself” by Savages. If Siouxsie Sioux was in a modern hard rock band, the music might sound like “Silence Yourself.” This album is a no nonsense affair with short and to the point songs that are guaranteed to kick your ass. The opening track “Shut Up” is a prelude of things to come as the album features no slow songs and each track is a rocking scorcher. The breakthrough song “Husbands” borrows heavily from the sound of the chorus of Patti Smith’s “Horses,” but in the context of the 38 minute no filler album, all is forgiven. Who said ladies can’t rock?
Jagwar Ma – Howlin
5. “Howlin” by Jagwar Ma. The Australian trio have made a brilliant debut album. Before “Howlin” is over, you will hear dream pop on “That Lonliness”, the experimental “What Love,” the dance floor jam “Four” and the trance inducing “The Throw.” If you’ve only heard a track or two from Jagwar Ma, rest assured that the entire album is not just the same style over and over again, a rarity in this day and age.
Peace – In Love
6. “In Love” by Peace. If you miss the British 90s rock sound, it’s alive and well in the music of Peace. The quartet from Birmingham feature brothers Harrison and Samuel Koisser, on vocals/guitar and bass. Tracks like “Higher than the Sun,” “Follow Baby” and “Delicious” are meant to be played in stadiums. They also have some psychedelic moments such as the album closer “California Daze.” Follow them baby!
Atlas Genius – When It Was Now
7. “When It Was Now” by Atlas Genius. I’m starting to notice a trend that great debut albums of 2013 are rarely made by Americans (save for MS MR, Foxygen and The Neighbourhood) and this entry is by the Australian Jeffery brothers. Of course, with that last name, how could I not like them, but I am not playing favorites. Atlas Genius’ music consists of dance oriented pop tunes. If you like Two Door Cinema Club, you will also like Atlas Genius. There are no unneeded guitar solos, and instead just irresistible grooves, such as “If So,” “Electric” and “Trojans.” For the ladies and gays, even if you don’t like their music, these guys are extremely hot!
The Neighbourhood – I Love You.
8. “I Love You.” by The Neighbourhood. The music of The Neighbourhood (who use the British spelling of the word despite being from Los Angeles) aka The NBHD fuse alternative rock, electronic beats and smooth vocals. Their songs are ready-made radio hits (however, the radio tends to focus on playing glossy pop trash). Lead singer Jesse Rutherford is tattooed from the neck down (read: so unbelievably hot) and he shows off lots of skin in the video for “Afraid,” which you should not miss. Many of their songs work as great call and response tracks when you see them live so check them out! Highlights are the single “Sweater Weather” and “Everybody’s Watching Me (Uh Oh).”
Little Green Cars – Absolute Zero
9. “Absolute Zero” by Little Green Cars. Folk rock has made a big come back over the last couple of years and while so much of it never has a worthy cresendo, Ireland’s Little Green Cars are filled with songs that have satisfying conclusions. Whether they are signing a capella or harmonizing on songs like “My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me,” you will find yourself enjoying all of their songs even if folk music isn’t your ‘thing.’
Tom Odell – Another Love
10. “Long Way Down” by Tom Odell. Ok, I got the EP signed since the full length album was not available when I saw Tom Odell earlier this year. So sue me! When you hear the soul in Tom Odell’s voice (which channels Chris Martin, Billy Joel and Thom Yorke of Radiohead), you will have a hard time believing that Tom Odell is only 22 years old! Once again, he has a huge career ahead of him if he can be that young and sound so good. His debut is filled with lots of power ballads, but to give you a preview of his rockin’ potential, check out the track “Hold Me.”
Laura Mvula – Sing To The Moon
11. “Sing to the Moon” by Laura Mvula. There’s a reason Laura Mvula got nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize overseas – because she’s amazing. Another master of the power ballad and slow jam, when Laura gives us a beat, such as on the song “Green Garden,” you will find it irresistible. Prince is an early champion of her music and after you hear “Sing to the Moon,” you will be too!
Lorde – Pure Heroine
12. “Pure Heroine” by Lorde. After loving Jake Bugg’s album all year long, it’s hard to be impressed because those mature lyrics and great voice are coming from an 18 year old. New Zealand’s Lorde is ffffing 16 years of age! Wow! She sounds kind of like “Lana Dey Rey Light” with lyrics complaining about being broke and feeling out of place, but it works well. I think of all the people on this list, Lorde will be the first mega-star of the bunch.
MS MR – Secondhand Rapture
13. “Secondhand Rapture” by MS MR. Last, but certainly not least, we have “Secondhand Rapture” by American duo MS MR (pronounced Miz Mister). Lead singer Lizzy Plapinger has a voice that sounds like Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine) and has a sense of style that will surely be recognized in the coming months and years. Their songs (such as “Bones”) have been featured in commercials and it’s a matter of time before MS MR become your new favorite band.
Thanks to all these great artists for the joy their music has brought to me in 2013 and I wish you all unparalleled success in 2014 and beyond!
If you are sitting in front of your computer and wondering what to get your loved ones this holiday season, give the gift of art! Artist Jason D’Aquino has made a limited run of 1000 artist book marks and each one comes personally autographed by the artist. These are sure to sell out and become sought after collectors items, so don’t delay and get yours today!
One will run you $7 US or you can get 2 for US $10 or 4 for US $20. Mention my name when you check out and you probably won’t get any additional discount, but hell, it never hurts to try! Bookmarks can be purchased here. Check out the video below for more information.
Photos by G. Autographs obtained in person by me. Thanks to the artists!
2013 was a year where debut albums sounded much better to me than new releases by veteran acts. It was also the year that British singer Jessie Ware rocked my world, I “discovered” the music of 6 year old band White Lies and Pet Shop Boys made a return to brilliance. See below for 10 albums you need to own, according 2 G.
Devotion by Jessie Ware
1. “Devotion” by Jessie Ware. When I heard the music of Jessie Ware for the first time, it was love at first listen. Most of Jessie Ware’s songs are mid-tempo tracks and her silky smooth voice is the missing link between Sade and Adele. I will not lie, in 2013, I wore this album out, and yet, I am not sick of it. On my iPod alone, I’ve heard the record over 200 times and I know I’ve listened to the actual CD probably as many times. There is not a bad song on the album. Jessie Ware has scored a trifecta on According2g.com by having the number one spot for my favorite song, my favorite debut album and my favorite overall album of 2013. If you need a slow jam, you’ve got the title track “Devotion.” If you want a mid-tempo song to groove to, you’ve got “Sweet Talk.” If you want a dance floor jam, you’ve got “If You’re Never Gonna Move.” If you need an introspective song, you’ve got “Something Inside,” and all the songs in between are equally as good. And let us not forget my #1 song of 2013 – “Running.” It’s good for chillin’, working out (running – ha!), and pretty much any other activity that ends in “-ing” if you know what I mean! I have seen almost every New York area show that Jessie Ware has performed (which is over 5) in 2013 and I cannot get enough. At one of the most recent shows, I told Jessie about how much I love her and she recorded a special message! Thanks Jessie and needless to say, but I will say it anyway, I am ecstatic for what the future holds for you and I cannot wait for album #2!
Electric by Pet Shop Boys
2. “Electric” by Pet Shop Boys. It’s not that I disliked the last Pet Shop Boys album “Elysium,” it’s just that they recorded their “Los Angeles” album and to me it’s so un-LA. Overall, the tracks were slow, melancholy and introspective, and as a Los Angeles native, we all know LA is anything but those 3 things. It started making me think that maybe the Pet Shop Boys had peaked and after a good 30 year run. Well, I was wrong. You’d never know the Boys are well over 50 as “Electric” is a straight up dance record, that can out bang any modern club track. Tracks like “Fluorescent” and “Inside a Dream” are not only two of the best tracks on the album, but they are two of the best Pet Shop Boys songs ever. The track “Thursday” which features a guest rap from Example sounds on paper like a disaster waiting to happen, and instead, it’s also one of the strongest tracks on the album. I find it odd because I typically don’t care for Stuart Price’s production, but he really hit it out of the park with “Electric.” Turn it up!
“Big TV” by White Lies
3. “Big TV” by White Lies. Even though I know a lot about music, sometimes there are just bands that slip through the cracks. White Lies was one of those bands. “Big TV” is their third album, but I only “discovered” them this year. A friend recommended that I go see them live and as we have a lot of similar music tastes, I took his word. Glad I did. I waited until the show to actually hear their music and as song after song were played, I found myself saying “I love that song!” Even funnier to me is that the songs I identified with the most are nearly all from “Big TV.” Their music, if they are ‘new’ to you, has elements of Ultravox, Joy Division and The Killers. That is definitely a good thing! Highlights are “Mother Tongue” and “Be Your Man” (no relation to the Jesse Johnson track of the same name), however, for their tour EP “Small TV,” Prince’s “I Would Die 4 U” is covered.
“Evil Friends” by Portugal. The Man
4. “Evil Friends” by Portugal. The Man. While “Evil Friends” is nowhere near as epic as their last release “In The Mountain In The Cloud,” it is still a fabulously great album. PTM made a run for mainstream success by working with uber-producer Danger Mouse. No offense to DM, but I think Portugal. The Man are quite capable of making it sound awesome on their own. Songs like “Creep In A T-Shirt” and “Hip Hop Kids” are anti-hipster themes, but ironically a large portion of PTM’s growing fan base are hipsters. Hey, hey, what can you do?
“Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action” by Franz Ferdinand
5. “Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action” by Franz Ferdinand. Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand returned to the music scene this year with another excellent album. The record doesn’t particularly break new ground, but it showcases what Franz Ferdinand do best – write 4 minute rock jams that are catchy as hell. My favorite track on the record is the funky “Evil Eye.” Also, you should check out the deluxe edition of this album which comes with the bonus disc “Right Notes Right Words Wrong Order” which is an live in the studio run through of a lot of tracks on the new album as well as a few classic FF tracks such as “Ulysses” and “No You Girls.”
More Than Just A Dream by Fitz and the Tantrums
6. “More Than Just A Dream” by Fitz and the Tantrums. It’s been so awesome to watch the rise of Fitz and the Tantrums. I’ve seen them perform in small clubs and Central Park. Their second album “More Than Just a Dream” is a bit poppier than their debut but it works. The song “Out of My League” has been on repeat more than a few times for me this year and “Last Raindrop” and “Spark” are songs that you will not be able to still still as you listen. Test it out!
Modern Vampires of the City by Vampire Weekend
7. “Modern Vampires of the City” by Vampire Weekend. I don’t know why I have resisted Vampire Weekend for a long time. They come off like hipster assholes in interviews, but I’ve met them a few times and lead singer Ezra Koenig is really nice especially. I finally gave in to Vampire Weekend and I found that I really like their music. I still think of them as a “hipster Paul Simon” as their music is worldly, but with very frat-boy/bourgeois/hipster lyrics and that definitely holds true for the songs on this record. But there are many catchy little ditties such as “Diane Young” that show this group is definitely one of the more interesting bands of the alt rock scene these days.
“One Breath” by Anna Calvi
8. “One Breath” by Anna Calvi. There is no sophomore slump when it comes to Anna Calvi’s music. If you’ve never heard her music, she’s got an operatic voice and she is not afraid to rock. When you see her live, she is sexy as hell (and coming from a gay guy, that’s a double compliment), looking like she could be conducting a business meeting and then she whips out her electric guitar and rocks! “One Breath” is an uphill step for Anna as her first album is very dark and noir sounding with this one having epic rock tracks such as “Eliza” and the extremely rockin’ “Love of My Life.” Definitely check out this album, and definitely go on youtube and watch her cover of Edith Piaf’s “Jezebel.” It will slay you!
Waking on a Pretty Daze by Kurt Vile
9. “Waking on a Pretty Daze” by Kurt Vile. The internet says Kurt Vile is the new Tom Petty. I can’t speak to that, but what I can say is that Kurt Vile is a great singer songwriter and his music seems to be getting better and better with each album. One of the highlights is the nine and a half minute title track. Don’t let his name fool you. His name might be Vile, but his music is awesome!
“The Haunted Man” by Bat For Lashes
10. “The Haunted Man” by Bat For Lashes. Since Bjork refuses to make a proper Bjork album, thank the creator for Natasha Khan, better known as Bat For Lashes. Her songs are magical, mystical and quirky and she’s got a voice that blends Bjorkishness with Florence and the Machine. Key tracks are “Laura” and “All Your Gold.”
Japanese artist Riusuke Fukahori loves goldfish. They are the focal point of his debut New York exhibit “The Painted Breath” at Joshua Liner Gallery. When you first look at his works, you might think – “oh, it’s a goldfish” and scratch your head as to the deeper significance. But then you discover that despite looking like sculptures, the fish are made entirely out of resin, you will wonder how he did it.
To paint the goldfish as realistically as possible, he pours a layer of resin, lets it dry, then paints a small portion of the fish, lets it dry, then pours another layer of resin—patiently repeating these steps until the final product is a three-dimensional representation of a goldfish. WOW!
When you see these works of art in person, you will really be blown away, so don’t just take my word for it. See “The Painted Breath” by Riusuke Fukahori in person at Joshua Liner Gallery (located at 540 West 28th Street) in Manhattan. The exhibit is up through January 18, 2014.