“Diane Arbus: A Biography“ by Patricia Bosworth
Arbus is my all time favorite photographer. After seeing the film “Fur” with Nicole Kidman playing the infamous Arbus, I had to know more about her. Her life is interesting and the tone she set for her subject matters in the 60’s was risqué and beyond unique. She turned from doing fashion photography to finally tapping into her personal creativeness by doing personal portraits of subjects living in unusual lifestyles. What I love so much about her is that she brought to light the beauty of indivisuals living at the edge of society –- transexuals, homosexuals showing affection in public, strippers getting ready for work, or an abnormally tall man with his average size family. One of the best gifts I ever received was Arbus’ beautiful and interesting table top book, “Revelations.”
“ The Commoner” by John Burnham Schwartz.
This is a beautifully written story about a young woman who marries into the Royal Family in post-WWII Japan.
“Schwartz has written about Japan before — in the novel “Bicycle Days,” based on a summer he spent there as a young man in the mid-1980s — and he has established himself as a master of mood in more recent fiction, particularly his novel “Reservation Road,” a tale of death and loss that, like “The Commoner,” is infused with a terrible sadness. ” — Lesley Downer, The New York Times
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I’ve learned a valuable lesson from some of my previous writer ups — The Internet can be a bad place. The Teenagers, Girls, and The XX have taught me that when I’m done with the write-ups and I’m searching Google for album art I should toggle my safe search on. Harmless searches with terrible results. With that mind I present to you the top ten list of most dangerous band name searches:
9.) The Morning Benders
8.) Brazilian Girls
7.) Mr Big
6.) Love Spit Love
5.) The Virgins
4.) The Butthole Surfers
3.) Scissor Sisters
2.) Amy Winehouse
I’ve had this British duo’s album on heavy rotation since mid September and I still can’t get enough of it. I’m a sucker for synthesizers and drum machines. However, what’s really doing it for me are the walls of guitar fuzz. Each spin makes their sound travel a little bit further down the timeline till you’re firmly resting in the comfortable bosom of the late 90’s shoegaze guitar scene. I welcome a return to that sound with open arms…but lets all agree to never call it “nu-gaze”. Great. (more…)
Before heading off to PROJECT LAS VEGAS, the TRAffIK Fashion Girls took a look at their current beauty obsessions and must-haves and are sharing them with you. See below for what get’s them glowing, keeps them moisturized, hydrates them, and what tunes they can’t get out of their heads (because we all need good music to get ready to)
Keep checking back for more from BB and Heather the TRAffIK Fashion Girls and their column REAL FASHION FOR REAL PEOPLE and don’t forget to follow them on Twitter at http://twitter.com/fashiongirls513
Here’s some of what to expect: How-to’s – BB and Heather will show you exactly how to wear some of the hottest new trends as well as accessories you may already own in great new ways, Insider Info from the events that BB and Heather attend or are involved with, like Project Las Vegas (Feb.16-18), Q &A’s with Fashion Industry Insiders – So that you can continue to learn about the inner workings of the Fashion Industry. They will also tackle any questions that you may have, and Special Features on What to Wear and Where.
Princeton are playing a four week long “Free Mondays” residency @ Spaceland this month. They’re from my home away from home, Santa Monica…so I feel I should support them. Beyond the Santa Monica allegiance their album actually happens to be pretty decent. Decent enough to garner comparisons to Vampire weekend by both The NY Times and Pitchfork.com. What I found interesting about these two reviews was how interchangeable they were. The NY Times on 09/11 made reference to the fact that the twin brothers who front the band grew up on Princeton Street in Santa Monica. They used this rather benign factoid to try and drive home the Vampire Weekend comparisons. I thought it was a bit silly, but as an amateur writer I could respect the need for a speaking point that could link two separate entities. All and all it was a fairly positive review that name checked (besides Vampire Weekend) The Cure, Leonard Cohen and “shoegaze”. If you were playing hipster review BINGO you’d be feeling pretty lucky. Pitchfork took their time in posting a review for this album. They waited till December 3rd of the same year when they also mentioned: Princeton St and used it as a tool to begin a forced comparison to Vampire Weekend. They also name checked Leonard Cohen and shoegaze. It reeked of classic late minute high school report cribbing. Pitchfork pretty much pulled a Cliff Notes on their review and moved the content around to give it a different look and feel. This might get past some people, but the old Crib and Switch was a patented move of high school Del. I was on to them. As we all know, from countless message episodes from the ABC TGIF block and real life stern lectures* when eventually being caught, cheaters only cheat themselves. …and in this case, you the reader. Instead of three separate reviews of Princeton you have 1) an original review, 2) a facsimile shamfest, and 3) a Del induced shamefest. To make up for my unfocused talk of Princeton I invite you all to Spaceland tonight for cheap PBRS and free music.
Highlights: “Sadie & Andy,” “Korean War Memorial,” “Shout It Out”
real life stern lectures*: How I was caught by Mr Hilliard in nine grade English class for more or less handing in a transcribed Cliff Notes report on “Of Mice and Men” sans the yellow and black cover I’ll never know. Perhaps I aroused some suspicions when I switched book review topics the day before the report was due. Not exactly a smooth criminal.
Living in a city where everyone likes to discuss and share everything they encounter, I now and then get sucked into conversations about what I’m reading or not reading for that matter. They can range from enjoyable intelligent discussions to some near fanatical pitches that make me wonder if this person is receiving a commission for each copy of the book that is sold. The worst is when you get cornered by a literary vigilante who proceeds to pompously (or pretentiously, take your pick) probably verbatim recite his or her college paper on why the novel being discussed is or is not a prime example of Deconstructionism or any other movement (postmodern or otherwise), leading you to believe they may only be talking to hear the sound of their own voice – thank goodness for drink refreshing, an acceptable escape.
Anyhow, I’ve been asked a few times why book reviews are not included on TRAffIK. Let me explain.
In my lifetime, I’ve read many books. I learned to read at a very early age and would make my parents buy me a new book every time we went anywhere that might sell them. If there weren’t books available, I was content with a magazine. I would spend hours at libraries and bookstores, and those are still some of my favorite places. Just like with music, I never really wanted the popular reads. I would always go for authors and books I’d never heard of. It might be safe to say that by the time I was 16 or 17, I had probably read more books than most people will probably read in a lifetime (the majority of the company I keep is not included in the phrase “most people,” as I am surrounded by a myriad of literary enthusiasts.)
I started off with a strong interest in crime novels and anything located in the mystery section, yet later developed a much more defined interest in historical non-fiction, autobiographies, and biographies. This is a preference that remains to this day. I have a natural inclination and desire to learn about how things work, the origins of certain movements, and the paths that led people to become who they are.
This isn’t to say I didn’t go through the whole Fear St., Sweet Valley High, Babysitter’s Club, and V.C. Andrews middle school phase as well and of course my peers at times influenced my reads as I vividly recall how we all took turns reading the James Patterson (in particular “Along Came a Spider”) and Stephen King novels, as well as the Agatha Christie Poirot and Ms. Marple series’ in 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. Perhaps I read too many of these books early on, leading me to not touch much of those genres now that I’m in my 20’s.
I’m not very vocal about my reads, unless they are something written by a peer or a friend and I’m trying to spread the word. I’ve also never been a good candidate for a book club. I like the idea of a book club, just like I like the idea of Super Bowl Parties. I’m a social person and I like the social aspect of such activities. (more…)