This week’s challenge involved over 500 pairs of Levi’s jeans that the remaining designers were to use to create a new, iconic denim look. Caroline Calvin of Levi’s was on hand to tell the designers about the challenge and later was a guest judge. She told the contestants that they needed to create a look that embodied the Levi’s spirit while putting an original spin on denim.
Most of the designers decided to make dresses while Jillian got upset that Victorya was stealing her idea to make a coat. Christian was the only designer to stray from the dress idea and made a pair of jeans and a denim jacket, because he felt manly working with denim. Jillian keeps creating these intense designs that are pretty much impossible with the strict time limits the designers are given, so she’s on the verge of breaking down. Did anyone else see Rami spray his face with cologne, like, 6 times? That’s what that was, right?
Quote of the Episode: “Somebody needs to give him [Christian] a bottle and send him to bed.” – Chris March
Chris March: He took the idea of the classic “little black dress” and made a “little blue dress” in the style of a halter dress which turned out to be really cute. He was told by Nina Garcia that is looked “dated” while Heidi said she felt it looked “home sewn.” Ouch.
Ricky: Ricky made a denim corset dress which turned out to be really fierce and makes is almost okay that he’s still around. (Send him home!) He received “impeccable” from Nina and Caroline Calvin told him that it was a “fantastic dress…just really cool.” And he cried on the runway.
Sweet P: She wanted to make a dress in the style of her wedding dress, which was a very simple tube dress with a free-flowing skirt. Tim Gunn informed her that it looked too “granny circle,” which she did away with by cutting the dress much shorter than she’d originally planned. It turned out to be a versatile patch-work tube dress that Michael Kors told her was “so chic” and had a “slimming voodoo.”
Victorya: Victorya went with the idea of a classic trench coat in which she basically sewed some denim to an existing denim jacket. The judges were upset that she didn’t seem to have much to do for her design. Michael Kors told her the it looked like she glued a party skirt to her jean jacket and Caroline Calvin was disappointed because Victorya was “not inspired at all.”
Rami: Being all “fashion foward,” Rami created a fierce dress (pictured) with a high collar and ruffled skirt that he trimmed with zippers, which the judges loved. Nina praised his work saying that it was “sharp, clean, well-done and sophisticated.”
Christian: The daredevil of the group, who had won immunity last week, was exalted by Michael Kors for being the only designer to send out “a new jean.” He created the jeans he made out of a denim jacket and created the denim jacket he crafted with pairs of jeans. It was abs and totes ferosh, like any Christian design.
Jillian: Jillian’s jacket turned out better than Victorya’s and appeared much more high fashion. Her frustration with the project was evident in the final product as she was told that it was “overly complicated” by Caroline Calvin and Michael Kors informed Jillian that her model looked “fab, but not in that.” Yikes.
WINNER: Ricky! If he can stay on his A game, I’ll no longer object to his presence. But seriously, tone down the emo.
Bottom two: Jillian and Victorya
Auf‘d: Victorya — Not too sad to see her go. She’s a stubborn thing and her designs weren’t that amazing.
Next week: I missed the original airing because I was out, so I had to watch it at 2AM. By the time the preview for next week came up I was definitely ready to fall asleep sitting up, but managed to see that Sweet P and Christian arm wrestle. That will be the true challenge.
Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator John Edwards is going to make a statement at 1PM this afternoon in New Orleans regarding his dropping out of the Presidential race. He currently endorses neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama, but may do so in the future.
Republican candidate Rudy Giuliani has also dropped out of the race to gain his party’s nomination for President.
Up Next: GOP caucus in Maine on Saturday, February 2nd and Super Tuesday, February 5th (both parties, unless otherwise noted):
Democratic Idaho caucuses
Democratic Kansas caucuses
GOP Montana caucuses
New Jersey primaries
Democratic New Mexico primary
New York primaries
North Dakota caucuses
GOP West Virginia convention
Hillary Clinton walked away from Florida’s Democratic primary with 50% of the vote while Barack Obama managed 33% and John Edwards trailed with 14%. Dennis Kucinich, who had previously dropped out, still appeared on the ballot and received 1% of the Florida Democratic vote.
For the GOP, John McCain came in first with 36% of Florida’s voters behind him. Mitt Romney managed a respectable 31% while Rudy Giuliani edged out Mike Huckabee for third place with 15% of the vote to Huckabee’s 14%. Ron Paul received 3% of the Florida GOP primary vote, Fred Thompson nabbed 1% and Duncan Hunter (who is doing so poorly that I need to fact check his first name every time) failed to gain a percentage at all.
Is the New York Times‘ really influential or are these results just a coincidence?
The next cycle of “America’s Next Top Model” will begin on February 20th, this time taking place in New York City.
I know what you’re thinking, it just ended!
Welcome to Writers’ Strike Fallout.
I’m actually kind of excited. And hoping I run into the gaggle of wannabe top models on one of my visits up to New York.
Brandon Summers, the crooner behind Sub Pop’s The Helio Sequence, couldn’t have been more pleased with the direction that his life was headed in. His band, which includes his best friend since middle school, Benjamin Weikel, had released an impressive synth-rock album titled Love and Distance, and hit the road, touring the States and the U.K., sharing the States with the like of Blonde Redhead, Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon, and Secret Machines.
Life was really quite good. Then suddenly and without warning everything changed. Summers hit a brick wall at a speed that would kill most. His vocal chords had become damaged, thanks to the extreme unrest from extensive tours dates. Halfway through the first collection of dates he misplaced his voice completely. Staying the course, The Helio Sequence finished the tours. In order to secure a voice for the shows, Summers refrained from speaking off stage. Finally, Summers was informed to rest his vocals for at least two months, or risk losing his voice permanently.
Refusing to let his band’s achievements slip away, Summers got proactive. He began doing daily vocal workouts to strengthen his abilities and insure that his talents not vanish. He also gave up drinking and began eating healthy. The result of these changes are noticeable in the differences between The Helio Sequence’s releases. Not only does Summers’ voice sound stronger on Keep Your Eyes Ahead, he appears more confident about his abilities to use it. This bodes well for he and his band.
The tracks on Keep Your Eyes Ahead range from sounding like Ryan Adams or Willie Nelson, with a honest and simple singer songwriter style, bordering on country without the annoyance country songs, to the independent charm of Decibully, and label mates Band of Horses or Rogue Wave. Hell, if you dig deep enough you can even find Atom and His Package synth-pop riffs hidden beneath Bob Dylan-like songwriting. The Helio Sequence seems to have written more of a jukebox than an album as they seem to flip-flop from alt. country to electro-pop every other song.
Opening with “Lately,” a song in which Summers confesses that he has in fact moved on from a former relationship. Featuring a Dinosaur Jr. hook and a wall of sound writing structure, the emotion of the lyrics and the chaos of the electronic noise in the back ground seem to capture the confusion of the moments in the song. Keep Your Eyes Ahead quickly changes by featuring “Can’t Say No,” a song that easily could have been featured on Tegan and Sara‘s The Con and You Can Come to Me, a Postal Service-like song feature Bob Dylan friendly vocals. They then switch back to alt. country, with “Shed Your Love,” a song that reminds me of a brilliant but completely underrated Canadian band, Blue Rodeo. These changes continue through the album, managing to keep listeners wondering which cut will come next. All tracks feature a state of solitude and emotion that can only be captured following a period in which months of silence have been force on you. Summers’ solitude is real, which sets him heads above most artists. This is never more true than on “Shed Your Love,” the prime cut of this album of wonderful songs.
Look for the The Helio Sequence’s Keep Your Eyes Ahead in stores today, Janurary 29th, 2008 on Subpop Records.
Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend review
Xiu Xiu Women As Lovers review
You, Me and Everyone We Know Party For The Grown and Sexy EP free download!
The Helio Sequence Keep Your Eyes Ahead
Louis XVI Slick Dogs and Ponies
The Mars Volta Bedlam in Goliath
Bullet For My Valentine Scream, Aim, Fire
Idiot Pilot Wolves
Protest The Hero Fortress
Stonerider Three Legs of Trouble
The Eye, The Eat and The Arm Paths
The Morning Of The World As We Know It
Dispatch Dispatch Zimbabwe: Live at Madison Square Garden
New York rockers Vampire Weekend have already won over Rolling Stone, SPIN, the New York Times and enough music lovers to sell out several nights on their headlining tour next month. The self-titled debut album of these off-the-beaten path musicians is a fun-filled disc with indie pop jams unlike anything else out right now. Recorded last year at the band’s alma mater, a little school called Columbia University (you may have heard of it?), and Treefort in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood, Vampire Weekend went from playing literary houses at Columbia to selling out Bowery and neighboring Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg (formerly Northsix).
The influences on Vampire Weekend include African guitar, Western classical canon, reggaeton, summers in Cape Cod, an internship at the Oxford English Dictionary, travels in India and, of course, New York City. The disc opens with several poppy numbers that force you to get out of your chair and dance, or, at the very least, wiggle in your seat. The mellow quality of the vocals is a wonderful contrast to the many pop reggae beats that lace each song.
Make sure to snag a copy of Vampire Weekend’s critically-acclaimed self-titled debut today, January 29, 2008 on XL Recordings.
Seemingly without effort, Xiu Xiu has the ability to make the unique and obscure instruments used on their newest album Women as Lovers seem normal, if not expected. They apply mallet percussion to their composition as commonly as most bands do guitar or piano; beyond that is their ability to create moving string orchestration side-by-side with electric noise. Xiu Xiu balances beauty and confusion well. They lead you off of your path just enough to keep you from growing too relaxed, waking you up with a noise that shouldn’t fit or a minor chord when you’re expecting a major, but then comfort you again with moving tones or flowing guitar picking.
On Women As Lovers the songs themselves flow from one into another, creating move of the singular track than a group of recordings. Six cuts in Xiu Xiu puts their own styling on the David Bowie/Queen hit “Under Pressure.” Subbing horns and female vocals in signature elements, the song becoming move of a retelling with a drunken sing-a-long feel, than a cover. But Xiu Xiu’s originals are not short of brilliant either; each song on this 14 song album sounds different from the previous. It seems to be more of a chapter book approach to songwriting than telling individual stories. The attention to detail is what makes this album head above others. Jamie Stewart’s talents don’t stop their though. It’s one-of-a-kind voice stands out differently on each of these 14 cuts. And Stewart’s tracks are easy to relate to because he’s writing about our lives. He find a way to put into words the things that many of us struggle to communicate, which leaves Women as Lovers with a genuine feel that remains difficult to find.
This album is a goldmine gutted, and worth every piece. Every second is worth the time spent. Look for Xiu Xiu’s album, Women as Lovers in stores tomorrow, January 29th, from Four Paws Media.
This spring, actress Scarlett Johannson will debut her singing career with an album featuring 10 Tom Waits songs from Anywhere I Lay My Head and one original tune. The album will feature collaborations with Nick Zinner of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Dave Sitek of TV On The Radio. The album is slated for a May 20th release on Rhino Records’ imprint Atco.
As a rule I’m never a fan of actors thinking they can become singers and vice versa. ScarJo now joins the likes of Lindsay Lohan, Hillary Duff, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Tatiana Ali, Alyssa Milano, and Gwenyth Paltrow. Woof.
She’ll no doubt be embraced by hipsters and indie kids, though. ScarJo is, after all, a muse of Woody Allen’s and an indie darling. And with guest rockers Nick Zinner and Dave Sitek, there will at the very least be a raging curiosity. Should the good people at Rhino/Atco will it, PopWreck(oning) would love to review the forthcoming CD.
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