INTERVIEW : QUINTRON & MISS PUSSYCAT

In honor of ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror festival this weekend in New York, we introduce Quintron & Miss Pussycat of New Orleans, Louisiana — two weirdos who make the world turn. Catch them plus Dirty 3, Frank Ocean, Philip Glass and The Roots — we have a friendly deal on rooms and tickets here. 

Quintron has been making genre-defying noise and Swamp-Tech dance music in New Orleans for over fifteen years. Psychedelic New Orleans soul and garage R&B filtered through a distorted Hammond B-3 and a cache of self-made electronic instruments have become his creative signature. A genre-less oracle of sound, Quintron has produced strange soundscapes based on inner-city field recordings of frogs and neighborhood ambiance, and holed himself up in The New Orleans Museum Of Art for three months to create the epic “Sucre Du Sauvage”. His most significant creation has to be the The Drum Buddy — a light activated analog synthesizer that creates murky, low-fidelity, rhythmic patterns — used by Laurie Anderson, Fred Armisen and other people in the know.

Miss Pussycat is Quintron’s permanent collaborator — a master puppeteer, vocalist and maracas shaker. Hers are complex, beautiful crafted stagings, with electronically pixilated soundtracks, seedy characters and trippy black light effects (a holy trinity if we ever saw one).

Tell us what you’ve been up to.

We just released a live album on Third Man, Quintron invented a weather-controlled synth called the Singing House, our song “Chatterbox” was nominated for a Grammy and we are currently working on a new puppet film called “The Mystery in Old Bathbath” due out in November.

How do you feel about playing in New York this weekend?

We feel good. Our excitement level is currently medium but we expect it to be raised to “very high” as the magic hour approaches! 

Who else are you excited about seeing at IBYM?

Phillip Glass (huge, huge fans), Magic Band Magic Band Magic Band!!, Makeup, Oh Sees…everything.

What’s your most memorable New York show to date?

C-Squat has to be up there at the very top. We left the show after we played and came back an hour later to find everyone playing our instruments.

If you were curating the festival this year, name three bands you would pick to play the stage with you. 

The Residents might be first pick (they are Louisiana natives after all). And we would actually try to get Bohannon…he is still alive and living in Georgia and he just put an amazing new record out….this dude is basically responsible for modern house but he does it with a real band. We would get Cave (Chicago prog) and ZZZ (awesome Netherlands organ psych rock), King Louie (any one of his legendary bands would do — Kajun SS, Missing Monuments, Persuaders, One Man Band, etc., etc.), and oh man….we would go nuts. The Oblivions (with the Quintron line-up of course) and so much more.

Of course we would also get some New Orleans Bounce! Vockah Redu, Big Freedia, Katy Red (the OG and best of em all), etc…all awesome!

Sorry…that was more than three. 

What have you liked about ATP events in the past?

We played one of the first events in England, and the most impressive thing was that the television in all of the cabins was curated as well. We would DEFINITELY do that! Just fill up 72 hours of psychedelic puppet films from all over the world…we have an enormous collection of that kind of thing.

What record are you currently listening to?

Bohannon’s “Dance your Ass Off” and a psychedelic kids’ christmas album called “Chester The Chubby Elf” (narrated by Percy Penguin).


INTERVIEW : TAVI GEVINSON

Tavi Gevinson is starting to become just Tavi — like Cher. She could be a Bob and would still be THE Bob. She’s just insanely special, and we were head over heels honored to collaborate again with Tavi and her team at Rookie for Fashion Week this year to celebrate Rookie’s one year anniversary and the launch of their new book, Rookie Yearbook One, at Ace Hotel New York. Bob took some time out of her creative hurricane to talk to us about what Rookie means to her, trying to relax and what the future holds.

You’re living an unconventional life for a teenager — absorbing and experiencing stuff way beyond the confines of what high school can offer. If you were to invent a Rookie school, what would the curriculum be like? How do you think elements of that could be imbued into normal, every day high schools to change the lives of teenage girls, boys and everyone else?

I’m not comfortable even theorizing about How to Change the Schools of America, but Freaks and Geeks and Daniel Clowes’ work each blessed me with a sense of appreciation for human misery, and that outlook certainly changed what I get out of my school experience. Also, one of my teachers once told a story about his dad taking him shopping at Wal-Mart when everyone else in his school wore Ralph Lauren polos. He was horrified by the prospect of someone from his school seeing him there and him feeling embarrassed, but realized that in order for one of his peers to see him at Wal-Mart, they, too, would have to be at Wal-Mart. High school is terrible but learning is good and people are interesting and we’re all in Wal-Mart together.

Rookie has had a couple of articles that mention transgender, gay, lesbian and queer folks, but not a huge amount of content. The magazine is “for teenage girls” — does this ever feel clunky or ill-fitting when you think about reaching a trans, queer or gender variant audience of young people?

We’re always looking to expand the definitions of what girls can do and be, and looking for readers to share their stories through Rookie as well, so while our first year has meant a lot of figuring out who our audience is and what they would like to see from us, it doesn’t feel clunky at all to welcome all kinds of people into Rookie. Supporting girls also means sometimes questioning what it means to be a girl (or a boy), and we’ll keep on doing that.

How do you make time to daydream, create, space out and do nothing/everything with such an insane schedule? A lot of people don’t have to learn that skill until they’re much older, and most of us still struggle to figure it out, present company included. Do you think “success” ever takes a toll on your creative life or your psyche?

For each day I have different time units, like Hugh Grant in About a Boy: school, Rookie, friends, relaxing, my own creative projects, etc. I usually have to sacrifice at least one of these units on a regular school day. I’ve learned that I prefer the stress of trying to do everything I want, to the stress of wondering if I should do everything I want. I’ve also learned that it’s better to just do things all the time than sit around and think about how much shit I have to do and what to do next.

I asked S.E. Hinton a similar question when I interviewed her for Lula, not about her schedule specifically, but about the downsides of success in general. She said simply that success didn’t feel like as big a burden as no success would feel. My life is very stressful, but a lot of it comes from expectations I have for myself. I don’t feel like I got talked into anything or signed up for something I didn’t know I couldn’t handle. The fact that I even get to do all this and people will look at it is an extreme privilege, so it’s stressful, but I’m not complaining. I don’t really feel like my “success” takes a toll on my creative life or my psyche because all the projects I do that technically make me successful are my creative life and psyche — they’re creative outlets and places for me to express myself.

Tell us about some of your hopes and dreams for Rookie in year two.

I always want us to be bigger and better and all of that stuff, but it’s too scary to delve into the details right now.

Photograph of Tavi by Emily Berl for The New York Times


INTERVIEW : NAOMI POMEROY OF BEAST - JULIA CHILD’S 100TH BIRTHDAY
At this point, neither Julia Child nor Naomi Pomeroy really need an introduction. Naomi’s Beast in Portland, Oregon, and the spectacular food she serves there, have catapulted her to a solid seat among culinary greats from every generation and culture. She is one of the most genuine, hard-working, creative, ambitious and inspiring people we know — a lot like Our Lady of the Ladle herself. On Julia’s 100th birthday, we were privileged to get a few words from Naomi (while prepping for tonight’s prix-fixe) about cucumbers, love and one of her icons.
Did Julia Child have an influence on you as a kid?
Totally. My mom sas raised in a Southern California household with a mom whose idea of dinner was unseasoned turkey and iceberg salad. In 1968, my mom moved to Corvallis to attend OSU. As an 18 year old, finally free from her mom’s weird ideas about food, my mother taught herself to cook. Much of this was achieved through her forays into Mastering the Art of French Cooking. By the time I was born my mom was an avid cook… Thanks Julia!! 
How did she bridge the feminized domestic arts with the male-dominated world of culinary arts?
Julia was always unapologetic. I like that. Dudes never apologize for their choices in the kitchen… She didn’t either — But she was soft, and full of heart. And that combo really made her (and her food) shine.
Julia’s romance with Paul Child seemed to be an enormous source of support and inspiration. How do partnerships fuel creativity and productiveness?
As people who cook for a living, we really need the support of people around us. We aren’t saving lives or anything… But sometimes our hours are similar to ER doctors! 
I don’t like to call chefs “artists” — but at the same time, we are vulnerable. We make things for people to consume right in front of us. That leaves us unshielded sometimes from what people think — and we are sensitive! I would guess for the majority of us, we really want to take care of people. It’s in our NATURE. So we sometimes take our little failures home with us… We need a listening ear when it comes to that. I recently got married, and my husband Kyle is great for this. I really love that I can talk about new ideas, or little issues, and he listens… Doesn’t advise really — just hears me. It really helps.
One thing about Julia Child is that she so clearly loved life. Do you think chefs are happier people?
I do think chefs are happier…usually. Sometimes we get too caught up in perfection and complexity though. I think that is why Julia makes such a great role model. She really showcased what is best about a GOOD chef. When something doesn’t go right, you just laugh, and turn to something else… It is a kitchen! We are COOKING and if we aren’t happy, we certainly SHOULD be. We are all so lucky to be doing what we love for work. 
What’s next for Beast? What should we stay tuned for?
I wait for the right opportunities — I don’t force things. Back in the Spring I thought I was going to move locations, but then a good agreement that was best for the business  couldn’t be reached… It’s OK. I always wait for what feels right.
I was just asked by Time magazine to cover a food-related trip for an upcoming piece that runs in September. I had a blast traveling in Corsica and studying the food there… Who knows? Travel writing or travel TV? Or a cookbook?? It’s all up in the air, but it’s all wonderful too.
Any recipes you want to share on this important day?
I say this — if you haven’t tried to sauté cucumbers…do! They are wonderful. I add some onion as well, and finish with a little squeeze of lemon juice or champagne vinegar and a tiny pinch of sugar… It’s like Julia’s, only a little adapted.
Peel or partially peel cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and then into strips. Toss with vinegar, salt and sugar and let stand anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. Drain and pat dry, and preheat oven to 375F. Toss in a baking dish with melted butter, pepper and scallions, as well as any fresh herbs like dill and basil that appeal to you and are in season. Set uncovered in the middle level of the oven for about an hour, tossing a few times, until tender, but with a suggestion of crispiness and texture. They will barely color during cooking.

Photos by Alicia Rose

INTERVIEW : NAOMI POMEROY OF BEAST - JULIA CHILD’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

At this point, neither Julia Child nor Naomi Pomeroy really need an introduction. Naomi’s Beast in Portland, Oregon, and the spectacular food she serves there, have catapulted her to a solid seat among culinary greats from every generation and culture. She is one of the most genuine, hard-working, creative, ambitious and inspiring people we know — a lot like Our Lady of the Ladle herself. On Julia’s 100th birthday, we were privileged to get a few words from Naomi (while prepping for tonight’s prix-fixe) about cucumbers, love and one of her icons.

Did Julia Child have an influence on you as a kid?

Totally. My mom sas raised in a Southern California household with a mom whose idea of dinner was unseasoned turkey and iceberg salad. In 1968, my mom moved to Corvallis to attend OSU. As an 18 year old, finally free from her mom’s weird ideas about food, my mother taught herself to cook. Much of this was achieved through her forays into Mastering the Art of French Cooking. By the time I was born my mom was an avid cook… Thanks Julia!! 

How did she bridge the feminized domestic arts with the male-dominated world of culinary arts?

Julia was always unapologetic. I like that. Dudes never apologize for their choices in the kitchen… She didn’t either — But she was soft, and full of heart. And that combo really made her (and her food) shine.

Julia’s romance with Paul Child seemed to be an enormous source of support and inspiration. How do partnerships fuel creativity and productiveness?

As people who cook for a living, we really need the support of people around us. We aren’t saving lives or anything… But sometimes our hours are similar to ER doctors! 

I don’t like to call chefs “artists” — but at the same time, we are vulnerable. We make things for people to consume right in front of us. That leaves us unshielded sometimes from what people think — and we are sensitive! I would guess for the majority of us, we really want to take care of people. It’s in our NATURE. So we sometimes take our little failures home with us… We need a listening ear when it comes to that. I recently got married, and my husband Kyle is great for this. I really love that I can talk about new ideas, or little issues, and he listens… Doesn’t advise really — just hears me. It really helps.

One thing about Julia Child is that she so clearly loved life. Do you think chefs are happier people?

I do think chefs are happier…usually. Sometimes we get too caught up in perfection and complexity though. I think that is why Julia makes such a great role model. She really showcased what is best about a GOOD chef. When something doesn’t go right, you just laugh, and turn to something else… It is a kitchen! We are COOKING and if we aren’t happy, we certainly SHOULD be. We are all so lucky to be doing what we love for work. 

What’s next for Beast? What should we stay tuned for?

I wait for the right opportunities — I don’t force things. Back in the Spring I thought I was going to move locations, but then a good agreement that was best for the business  couldn’t be reached… It’s OK. I always wait for what feels right.

I was just asked by Time magazine to cover a food-related trip for an upcoming piece that runs in September. I had a blast traveling in Corsica and studying the food there… Who knows? Travel writing or travel TV? Or a cookbook?? It’s all up in the air, but it’s all wonderful too.

Any recipes you want to share on this important day?

I say this — if you haven’t tried to sauté cucumbers…do! They are wonderful. I add some onion as well, and finish with a little squeeze of lemon juice or champagne vinegar and a tiny pinch of sugar… It’s like Julia’s, only a little adapted.

Peel or partially peel cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise and then into strips. Toss with vinegar, salt and sugar and let stand anywhere from thirty minutes to several hours. Drain and pat dry, and preheat oven to 375F. Toss in a baking dish with melted butter, pepper and scallions, as well as any fresh herbs like dill and basil that appeal to you and are in season. Set uncovered in the middle level of the oven for about an hour, tossing a few times, until tender, but with a suggestion of crispiness and texture. They will barely color during cooking.

Photos by Alicia Rose


INTERVIEW : CRAFT BREWERS SAM CALAGIONE & “DR.” BILL SYSAK
We love beer culture, so we’re bringing some of our brewer friends together for our first annual Craft Beer Weekend at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. The two-day celebration of microbrewers, hop heads, cask masters and malsters goes down August 3 and 4. You can get a bucket of craft beers and a bunch of other cool stuff with your room — call us and mention code BEER to book. And check out the beer menu — we’ll be posting a food pairing menu soon; for now we’re still obsessing over it with Bill Sysak…
We sat down with two godfathers of micro-brewing, “Dr.” Bill Sysak of Stone Brewing Co. and Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewery, to talk about what they do and the unique and radical culture of the craft brew industry.
Both of your sites have this really robust background about your brands. There aren’t a lot of major beer brands that care that much about the company culture also. It seems like both of you are part of this larger movement. How did you both get into brewing? What makes you feel so passionately about it? 
Sam : Stone Brewing Co. and Dogfish Head started around the same era in the mid-to-late 90s, and we’re kind of considered second generation breweries on the timeline of craft brewing. The industry is about thirty years young if you look at Sierra Nevada as the original start up craft brewery. The second-generation came around and had these awesome forefathers, but we decided to take another tact and brew very intensely flavorful, very personal beers designed to offend as many people as they are to excite. If a brewery like Dogfish or Stone makes twenty or thirty different beers, we know a person might hate four or five of them because they don’t calibrate well to that person’s palate, but we know they are probably going to fall in love with five or six of them too.
Dr. Bill : That first generation — they were coming off of macro-physiology. By the time we came around in the 90s, we were able to get as crazy as we wanted to be because there was already a palate set for basic beers, so people like Greg, our founder, and Sam are able to make these amazing beers that are so outside the normal bounds of possibility. Either you like it or you don’t, but definitely we get a lot of converts from doing that.

Bill, you’re a Certified Cicerone. Does that background come from outside or within brewing, and this particular culture and craft?
Dr. Bill : I was in a unique situation because my father got me into good, fresh beer when I was 15 — right at the time when the craft beer revolution was starting. I was kind of that first beer aficionado or beer geek. I built relationships with everybody as a civilian while I was working in the medical field because of my passion for beer. I became known as an expert in food pairing and cellaring beers, and always had a really good palate. When it was time for me to retire from the medical field, Greg jumped on the chance to have me come work for them and be their Cicerone — the equivalent of a wine sommelier. 
Sam, you bring an interesting background too because you actually have an English degree. You got into this when you were working at a bar that served microbrews, right?
Sam : Yes, in New York, not far from Ace Hotel actually. I fell in love with beer while working at a first-generation craft beer restaurant. The owner and I started home brewing in our kitchens and the hobby spun out of control. We opened Dogfish in ‘95. Our focus from day one was off-centered ales for off-centered people. We look at the entire culinary landscape for potential ingredients in our beer. If you look at the culinary world today and the locavore and artisanal movement, that’s what craft breweries have been doing since before it had a name. 

Just the fact that your passion is based around an intoxicant is probably a huge boost for the level of connectivity and creativity that’s possible around your work. It seems like when you’re out there promoting your products, connecting with your cohorts and your colleagues, everyone is drinking beer so everyone is happy…which is pretty cool. 
Sam : Exactly. We have a saying in this industry that the craft brewing community is 99% asshole free.
Dr. Bill : There’s a lot of comradery in craft brewing. We’re all riding the wave together. If somebody runs out of hops, they’re going to contact one of the other brewers to borrow some.

Do you feel that there is a larger value system among brewers that everyone wants to work toward together — a similar cultural or social aim? 
Dr. Bill : Definitely. One of the main goals is to get the gospel of craft beer spread out to all the people. There are 2,000 breweries in America today, but there’s still only a small percentage of people that have tasted craft beer and know what true flavor is all about. So it’s important to us to have a united front so that we can promote craft beer to the masses and give them the opportunity to decide for themselves.
Sam : I always say the craft beer drinker is blissfully promiscuous. So we all kind of band together. We know that if they are going to drink our beer, it’s because they are adventurous drinkers and we love that. It’s a pretty weird thing, and it really captivates the consumer because they see us working together in this very authentic, grassroots, natural way.

INTERVIEW : CRAFT BREWERS SAM CALAGIONE & “DR.” BILL SYSAK

We love beer culture, so we’re bringing some of our brewer friends together for our first annual Craft Beer Weekend at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. The two-day celebration of microbrewers, hop heads, cask masters and malsters goes down August 3 and 4. You can get a bucket of craft beers and a bunch of other cool stuff with your room — call us and mention code BEER to book. And check out the beer menu — we’ll be posting a food pairing menu soon; for now we’re still obsessing over it with Bill Sysak…

We sat down with two godfathers of micro-brewing, “Dr.” Bill Sysak of Stone Brewing Co. and Sam Calagione, founder and president of Dogfish Head Brewery, to talk about what they do and the unique and radical culture of the craft brew industry.

Both of your sites have this really robust background about your brands. There aren’t a lot of major beer brands that care that much about the company culture also. It seems like both of you are part of this larger movement. How did you both get into brewing? What makes you feel so passionately about it? 

Sam : Stone Brewing Co. and Dogfish Head started around the same era in the mid-to-late 90s, and we’re kind of considered second generation breweries on the timeline of craft brewing. The industry is about thirty years young if you look at Sierra Nevada as the original start up craft brewery. The second-generation came around and had these awesome forefathers, but we decided to take another tact and brew very intensely flavorful, very personal beers designed to offend as many people as they are to excite. If a brewery like Dogfish or Stone makes twenty or thirty different beers, we know a person might hate four or five of them because they don’t calibrate well to that person’s palate, but we know they are probably going to fall in love with five or six of them too.

Dr. Bill : That first generation — they were coming off of macro-physiology. By the time we came around in the 90s, we were able to get as crazy as we wanted to be because there was already a palate set for basic beers, so people like Greg, our founder, and Sam are able to make these amazing beers that are so outside the normal bounds of possibility. Either you like it or you don’t, but definitely we get a lot of converts from doing that.

Bill, you’re a Certified Cicerone. Does that background come from outside or within brewing, and this particular culture and craft?

Dr. Bill : I was in a unique situation because my father got me into good, fresh beer when I was 15 — right at the time when the craft beer revolution was starting. I was kind of that first beer aficionado or beer geek. I built relationships with everybody as a civilian while I was working in the medical field because of my passion for beer. I became known as an expert in food pairing and cellaring beers, and always had a really good palate. When it was time for me to retire from the medical field, Greg jumped on the chance to have me come work for them and be their Cicerone — the equivalent of a wine sommelier. 

Sam, you bring an interesting background too because you actually have an English degree. You got into this when you were working at a bar that served microbrews, right?

Sam : Yes, in New York, not far from Ace Hotel actually. I fell in love with beer while working at a first-generation craft beer restaurant. The owner and I started home brewing in our kitchens and the hobby spun out of control. We opened Dogfish in ‘95. Our focus from day one was off-centered ales for off-centered people. We look at the entire culinary landscape for potential ingredients in our beer. If you look at the culinary world today and the locavore and artisanal movement, that’s what craft breweries have been doing since before it had a name. 

Just the fact that your passion is based around an intoxicant is probably a huge boost for the level of connectivity and creativity that’s possible around your work. It seems like when you’re out there promoting your products, connecting with your cohorts and your colleagues, everyone is drinking beer so everyone is happy…which is pretty cool. 

Sam : Exactly. We have a saying in this industry that the craft brewing community is 99% asshole free.

Dr. Bill : There’s a lot of comradery in craft brewing. We’re all riding the wave together. If somebody runs out of hops, they’re going to contact one of the other brewers to borrow some.

Do you feel that there is a larger value system among brewers that everyone wants to work toward together — a similar cultural or social aim? 

Dr. Bill : Definitely. One of the main goals is to get the gospel of craft beer spread out to all the people. There are 2,000 breweries in America today, but there’s still only a small percentage of people that have tasted craft beer and know what true flavor is all about. So it’s important to us to have a united front so that we can promote craft beer to the masses and give them the opportunity to decide for themselves.

Sam : I always say the craft beer drinker is blissfully promiscuous. So we all kind of band together. We know that if they are going to drink our beer, it’s because they are adventurous drinkers and we love that. It’s a pretty weird thing, and it really captivates the consumer because they see us working together in this very authentic, grassroots, natural way.


INTERVIEW : GLORIA NOTO : WORK MAGAZINE

Work Magazine and Gloria Noto are national treasures. As art, fashion, design and music become increasingly co-opted by the world of corporate marketing, we need tastemakers and champions of the underground ever more with each passing season. Gloria — like the best of the best who have come before her — follows her instinct when curating exhilarating content for Work; she knows it when she sees it because she feels it. Work Magazine can now be found in rooms at Ace Hotel & Swim Club — leaving your room with one in the morning and reading it by the pool with a Bloody Mary and French Toast breakfast is highly recommended.

We wanted to ask Gloria about her background, her work and her daydreams. She obliged.

You grew up in Detroit. Being from the archetypical blue-collar American city must have something to do with the magazine’s proletarian name.

That is a very interesting angle. It very well could have been a part of the many ingredients that make up the basis of the title and concept of The Work Magazine. Growing up in Detroit gave me a fierce work ethic and follow through with the things I set out to accomplish. To be from Detroit means to be a fighter and a hard worker. It’s tough out there, so you have to be tough with it.  

What does the magazine as a blank canvas mean to you as people, artists, citizens?

Each time I launch an Issue, the very next day, I am faced with another blank canvas and all the hopes and dreams I would like to set to accomplish with the following issue. Having the magazine be such a great platform for myself to express and connect my feelings and interests to the world is such a great feeling for me…to connect…that’s all we really want to do itsn’t it? And then there is the greater purpose of The Work Magazine, to be a blank canvas for those involved. To help them push the limits to submit something of the issues concept, but submit something that forces them to think outside the box, or get out side of their comfort zone. And now take that one step higher, and reach the reader…having them hold that once blank canvas in their hands and shown something they haven’t seen in other magazines, or in general, and to teach them something new, to give them something new to store in a crinkle of their brain. Like before mentioned, to connect. That’s what a blank canvas means to me.

Does it feel like work?

A lot of people say that if you love what you do, it will never feel like work…I disagree! Yes it feels like work, because it is work. It takes a lot of time, a lot of back and forth and searching, a lot of bumps, etc. And when you are a very small family that mainly does this as a labor of love, it takes even more work. But with that said, the work is so gratifying, and such a learning experience with every individual I meet, or bump that I encounter, that it makes the work enjoyable at even it’s harder points. I am lucky to have a strong team that keeps things together for me when I feel like I am at my last, and a team that is constantly bringing new and interesting point of views to the table.  Without them, there would be a really sad magazine. So yes, it feels like work, but who says a work feeling can’t be a good feeling!?

What has inspired you in the last 24 hours or so?

My girlfriend Ally and the little pow-wow conversations we have while taking a very long walk around the SilverLake Reservoir. We get on topics of work often and have such a great banter on back and forth ideas on what we want to accomplish and how we can do these things. And then there was the neighborhood I was walking in while having this conversation, Silverlake is such an inspiring little town full of beautiful homes, nature,  artistic people, and amazing food… Every time I walk in my neighborhood I feel a dueling sense of peace and excitement. I can feel the creative energy all around me and that makes me feel creative in return.

If you were packing your bags and leaving LA today, where would you be moving to?

Are we talking realistically here? Because I would have to take into account where I could continue to work, if that was the case. But since I have a feeling that you don’t mean a realistic answer, I would say Berlin. I haven’t been yet, but I think it would work out.  

Why did The Work need to be?

The Work Magazine needed to be because I needed an outlet to be. I am a makeup artist as well, and am constantly surrounded by these amazing individuals whom I thought deserved recognition, rather than the same bull shit that I would see over and over again in magazines, used only because the client would be paying them for product placement rather than because the item or the concept had soul. I felt that a lot of soul was missing from publications and that I also wanted to leave a mark on the transitioning magazine world. I wanted to show the world what I thought was interesting and to hopefully have them share the same view, and in doing so, share these amazing artists with the world.

Do you have a favorite magazine on airplanes?

I don’t have a specific one, but I did grab the most recent issues of BUST, LOVE, GentleWoman, and Dosier, and a new favorite Kinfolk on my last flight to NYC. They helped me through the whole flight.  

If a fictional character was curating an issue of The Work, who would it be?

Someone with a severe case of schizophrenia, ADD, and great taste. Maybe Andy Warhol. 


INTERVIEW : MIKE MILLS

Mike Mills is an artist, filmmaker, photographer, musician, handsome gentleman and multi-disciplinary imagination vessel. His recent film Beginners arrives on the heels of decades of nimble, idiosyncratic and hella special work like his other films Thumbsucker and Paperboys (among others) and his music videos for Yoko Ono and Air, as well as album covers for Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys and Ol’ Dirty Bastard. If you saw him in that seminal documentary of outsider art, Beautiful Losers, you probably remember what an eloquent voice he has on behalf of his craft, and on behalf of being human. That voice, carried over into his film, print and other work, is what moves us so deeply.

Mike has created a pair of limited edition printed posters for Commune — the group of people who helped design Ace Hotel & Swim Club, and old friends of Ace; you can see some behind-the-scene shots of Mike working on the posters on their blog here. The prints are centered on civil disobedience, and we had a chance to ask the man in question about what counts as disobedience and why color is a power tool.

You are civilly disobedient in much of your work — both via civil disobedience and by being civil while being disobedient. Is art a friendly way to disobey? Does being friendly make change more possible in the world?

Who was it that said if you’re going to break some laws you should dress nicely as to not be detected. I think that’s a powerful metaphor. I think the art world is actually too open for disobedience to be very impactful, that’s partly why I prefer to work in the design context or the entertainment world — while there is less room for subversion, I feel that what you can get away with in that context just has more traction in terms of making the world a bit more open. And lastly, yes, I love courtesy, friendliness, empathy and manners and I think all those qualities can be lethally subversive.

You’ve designed books, scarves, advertisements, music videos, fabrics and probably a bunch of stuff no one but you has ever seen. How do all the mediums you’ve used inform one another? When you’re designing or imagining, do you have a specific medium in mind? How does this change when you’re working on a commission or for a specific brand or project?

I very often just have ‘interests’ or maybe they’re obsessions and things on my heart and mind that are churning, churning, churning, and they come out in whatever opportunity is in front of me (a shirt, part of a script, a record cover, etc.). And yes, something I do in an art show can totally help me figure out a problem I’m having with a script, or something I learn doing a record cover can teach me about how I want to film something. I think I took my Bauhaus book I got in high school way too seriously and I thought this was how it was going to be in the future, everyone was gonna have multidiscplinary artistic lives, and that most of those ‘discplines’ were little lies made up by cultural institutions and schools anyways.

Color and you seem to have a great relationship. You have a way with gold foil. And Beginners has some beautiful full-screen color blocks. Is it California-born blood that brings out all this color? What does it mean to you? Can bright colors be sad? Can gold be depressing?

To be honest, I don’t totally know where all that came from. My father was, in addition to an art historian, a flag designer and did really amazing work that was always around the house. My mother loved minimalist art and color-field paintings, and I do carry that with me. I often feel a simple field of color says so much, is gorgeously open-ended and inviting, and, like music, works on a much more interesting and powerful subconscious level. And let’s face it, color is cheap — you get a lot of bang for your buck with a field of color and I really admire and respect that simple power.

What’s it like to make a movie about relationships when you’re in a relationship with someone who makes movies about relationships? Do you find yourselves in there sometimes, or is it a kind of therapeutic fiction (knowing that fiction is a great form of truth-telling)?

Oh, that’s private of course!

Photo of Mr. Mills by Autumn de Wilde


AFTERFEST INTERVIEW : KATHLEEN MCINNIS, CURATOR

We’re back with year two of Afterfest — the official Palm Springs Film Festival’s Shortfest afterparty with DJs, late night food, R-rated bingo and trivia, plus nice deals on rooms with food, beverage and Feel Good Spa credits. To kick things off, we had a chance to sit down with the festival’s film curator, Kathleen McInnis and get caught up on this year’s selection.

Last year’s ShortFest saw several entries from filmmakers who didn’t take the traditional path through film school. Are the novices still trending or leveling off? What does it all mean?

We always have a large number of films from emerging filmmakers, whether they take the film school route or not, because the short film format is so perfect to use in perfecting your visual storytelling voice. I think that is one of the more dynamic aspects of ShortFest — these collective emerging cinematic voices are fresh, visually stimulating, emotionally demanding in a way we haven’t experienced before.

Is it only a matter of time before social media finds a way to bring short film medium back to “the masses” à la Fatty Arbuckle?

Ah, the dream — to have audiences at large and worldwide re-embrace the short form not only as art but absolutely as valid entertainment. The short form theatrical venue so well established in the teens and early ‘20’s took nearly 70 years to crumble, but once gone is hard to get back. Theater owners realized more income from an extra feature screening crammed into the space left by taking out short form (not to mention adding in advertising to the space formerly occupied by cartoons and short films) and so were loath to give that up. Certainly, we’ve seen social networking sites and for-profit film sites on the internet trying to occupy that market share, but for me I still believe that we can create a valid and exciting cinema experience by adding back in the short form to the front of the featured film. I hope arthouse theaters far and wide embrace the idea as a way to bring another level of cinema experience to their audience — an experience that can’t be recreated on a laptop or in a dorm room.

Nollywood is the third largest producer of movies now. Where’s the next “_ollywood” going to be?

Wow, that’s like trying to forecast the weather — everyone has opinions and charts and numbers, but at the end of the day it’s still a bit of luck and happenstance. Some would say New Zealand is already it (Zollywood?), with the mega-productions of The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings series, etc. But historically, once a location is “shot out” film production simply moves on and finds a new geographic look somewhere else. Nigeria’s huge output of film and video, I think, is really a response to a dearth of product throughout a large landscape. India’s vast production of Bollywood films stays strong because of the dedicated audiences found not just in India now but throughout the world. And Hollywood’s domination of film screens worldwide is still a result of the demand for  visual popcorn by those with money and time but not a lot of sophisticated taste (i.e. kids). When looking at the emerging voices coming from the East (SE Asia, Singapore, China-including Hong Kong, Indonesia, etc) I see new stories told with sophisticated storytelling and well trained craft. It feels quite fresh, so perhaps that’s where we’ll ultimately find the next “_ollywood”.

Does your personal mental highlight reel have a soundtrack?

I never thought of it until you asked but then I started to listen and sure enough, it does! Music from Blade Runner, The Mission, Lawrence of Arabia, The Big Chill, Babel, Santitos, Amadeus, Wicker Park, Garden State, Footloose (original), Dirty Dancing, Happy Feet, Clay Pigeons and One False Move dominate my play list. And, to be honest, I kind of expect a full orchestra to bust out at any given moment throughout my day!


INTERVIEW : LACRYMOSA x NORTH HIGHLANDS
…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. Lacrymosa is Caitlin Pasko. A native of Virginia who was trained in classical piano from a young age, she’ll use her virtuosic talents this Sunday evening to craft a nimble tempo and mood in earthily poetic songs. Last weekend, North Highlands brought their bright guitars, jangly rhythms and steely and inscrutable dissonance to the mic. Herein, they ask each other a handful of intriguing questions.
Lacrymosa:
Okay first question - I think I remember Mike telling me that Wild One was recorded in a sort of “cabin in the woods.” Where was it, how long were you there, and had you finished writing the songs prior to recording?
North Highlands:
Wild One was recorded in a studio called Carriage House in Stamford, Connecticut. It was sort of a little retreat—it was nestled away in this fancy suburb with a ton of huge homes, and it was literally the Carriage house to another larger house. It was fun though because there are rooms upstairs that the bands can stay in, so we hit Trader Joe’s before coming up and never had to leave the studio. We were there for only 3 or 4 days, and then did a bunch of overdubs and vocals at our producer’s studio in Philadelphia.
Most of the songs were finished, but a few got worked out in the studio (specifically Best Part)…Brenda also did a lot of writing, re-writing, etc. on the way to and from Philadelphia.
Question for you: If you could enlist one musician to play a song with you, one director to score the song for and one actor or actress to be in the film you were scoring, who would they be?

Lacrymosa:
Whoa.
One musician - Ed Droste! I wish I wrote “Foreground.” Also Sean Davenport from Hills Like Elephants because I can’t stop listening to ”Invisible Ink.”
One director - Lars von Trier. Dark, twisted, visually and mentally stunning… Yes please.
One actor - Philip Seymour Hoffman. Because he’s a badass genius.
Okay. 1 - Tell me a good story from the road?  2 - Who would you tour with right now if you could tour with anyone?
North Highlands:
1) Aside from walking through Wendy’s drive-thrus at 4 am, eating at six different Waffle Houses, and one of us getting badly constipated, our tour was your pretty typical beer-crazed, let’s-share-a-bed-at-Days-Inn-and-hopefully-not-get-scabies, fried food extravaganza.
2) If I could tour with anyone it would probably be At The Drive In because I want to see their reunion shows. But that wouldn’t make all that much sense….so I’d probably say Liars or Beach House because I’m psyched for both of their new records.

INTERVIEW : LACRYMOSA x NORTH HIGHLANDS

…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. Lacrymosa is Caitlin Pasko. A native of Virginia who was trained in classical piano from a young age, she’ll use her virtuosic talents this Sunday evening to craft a nimble tempo and mood in earthily poetic songs. Last weekend, North Highlands brought their bright guitars, jangly rhythms and steely and inscrutable dissonance to the mic. Herein, they ask each other a handful of intriguing questions.

Lacrymosa:

Okay first question - I think I remember Mike telling me that Wild One was recorded in a sort of “cabin in the woods.” Where was it, how long were you there, and had you finished writing the songs prior to recording?

North Highlands:

Wild One was recorded in a studio called Carriage House in Stamford, Connecticut. It was sort of a little retreat—it was nestled away in this fancy suburb with a ton of huge homes, and it was literally the Carriage house to another larger house. It was fun though because there are rooms upstairs that the bands can stay in, so we hit Trader Joe’s before coming up and never had to leave the studio. We were there for only 3 or 4 days, and then did a bunch of overdubs and vocals at our producer’s studio in Philadelphia.

Most of the songs were finished, but a few got worked out in the studio (specifically Best Part)…Brenda also did a lot of writing, re-writing, etc. on the way to and from Philadelphia.

Question for you: If you could enlist one musician to play a song with you, one director to score the song for and one actor or actress to be in the film you were scoring, who would they be?

Lacrymosa:

Whoa.

One musician - Ed Droste! I wish I wrote “Foreground.” Also Sean Davenport from Hills Like Elephants because I can’t stop listening to ”Invisible Ink.”

One director - Lars von Trier. Dark, twisted, visually and mentally stunning… Yes please.

One actor - Philip Seymour Hoffman. Because he’s a badass genius.

Okay. 1 - Tell me a good story from the road?  2 - Who would you tour with right now if you could tour with anyone?

North Highlands:

1) Aside from walking through Wendy’s drive-thrus at 4 am, eating at six different Waffle Houses, and one of us getting badly constipated, our tour was your pretty typical beer-crazed, let’s-share-a-bed-at-Days-Inn-and-hopefully-not-get-scabies, fried food extravaganza.

2) If I could tour with anyone it would probably be At The Drive In because I want to see their reunion shows. But that wouldn’t make all that much sense….so I’d probably say Liars or Beach House because I’m psyched for both of their new records.


INTERVIEW : WENDY MACNAUGHTON BY JOCELYN K. GLEI
San Francisco-based illustrator and artist Wendy MacNaughton’s illustrations have the improvisational quality of an observer, a lone wolf. She uses illustration to weave a facetious and compassionate homage to the mundanities and Seinfeldesque neuroses that tie us all together. As a sort of visual afterparty to Behance’s 99% Conference, Wendy’s collection Guts, Grit and Getting *%!# Done will be up in the gallery space at Ace Hotel New York May 9 - June 8. It’s an illustrated inventory of making ideas happen based on Wendy’s observations, insights and takeaways from the conference.
Jocelyn K. Glei, Director of the 99% Think Tank and Conference, interviewed Wendy about how to change your life by not doing yoga.
How would you describe your work to, say, my grandmother?
First I’d apologize. Then I’d tell her I draw from observation — of people, circumstances, places, life — and tell stories through pictures and words. And no, sorry Nana, not like Norman Rockwell.
You seem to have a particular fascination with pointing out the details — half-empty whiskey glasses, lonely sandwiches, etc. Why?
The little things tell the story — we get swept up by the big picture but I think the little unnoticed details tell us more about what’s really going on.
There are also quite a few pieces related to thinking too much and procrastinating… What’s your preferred mode of procrastination? 
Let me think on that and get back to you. But really, folks. I know if I overthink an idea, it ends up spoiling it. Knowing that, the risk is over thinking not thinking about it. I guess I catch myself coming and going. It’s a challenge to put things aside and just have fun with an idea. That’s what drawing does for me. It clears my head out and I get to play — ideas come on their own.  
You have a lot of sketches from attending book readings… what was the last great book you read?
I beg everyone to read Miranda July’s It Chooses You. Not only is she a great writer, but this true story is super relevant to people working in, on and around technology and who are interested in human connection and storytelling.  
A lot of your illustrations seem to happen in transit (airports, events, street corners) — is there something in particular that’s appealing about transitional spaces and moments?
When in transit, people reflect, mull, worry, remember, sleep… These are all very intimate acts to be doing in a public space. And I love to eavesdrop. So I guess drawing in public is like visual eavesdropping on someone’s private time. It’s also very mediative for me. Drawing allows my brain to stop moving (see question above). Kind of like putting a baby to sleep in a moving car. 
Who or what recently inspired you to do something differently?
At a conference recently a friend asked me what I was going to do the next morning. I said, yoga. He said, do you always go to yoga at home? I said, yes. He said, well since you’re not at home, why not do something you can’t do at home? And i did. And it ended up being a profound, life-altering experience.
(And sorry, I am not telling you what it was.)

INTERVIEW : WENDY MACNAUGHTON BY JOCELYN K. GLEI

San Francisco-based illustrator and artist Wendy MacNaughton’s illustrations have the improvisational quality of an observer, a lone wolf. She uses illustration to weave a facetious and compassionate homage to the mundanities and Seinfeldesque neuroses that tie us all together. As a sort of visual afterparty to Behance’s 99% Conference, Wendy’s collection Guts, Grit and Getting *%!# Done will be up in the gallery space at Ace Hotel New York May 9 - June 8. It’s an illustrated inventory of making ideas happen based on Wendy’s observations, insights and takeaways from the conference.

Jocelyn K. Glei, Director of the 99% Think Tank and Conference, interviewed Wendy about how to change your life by not doing yoga.

How would you describe your work to, say, my grandmother?

First I’d apologize. Then I’d tell her I draw from observation — of people, circumstances, places, life — and tell stories through pictures and words. And no, sorry Nana, not like Norman Rockwell.

You seem to have a particular fascination with pointing out the details — half-empty whiskey glasses, lonely sandwiches, etc. Why?

The little things tell the story — we get swept up by the big picture but I think the little unnoticed details tell us more about what’s really going on.

There are also quite a few pieces related to thinking too much and procrastinating… What’s your preferred mode of procrastination? 

Let me think on that and get back to you. But really, folks. I know if I overthink an idea, it ends up spoiling it. Knowing that, the risk is over thinking not thinking about it. I guess I catch myself coming and going. It’s a challenge to put things aside and just have fun with an idea. That’s what drawing does for me. It clears my head out and I get to play — ideas come on their own.  

You have a lot of sketches from attending book readings… what was the last great book you read?

I beg everyone to read Miranda July’s It Chooses You. Not only is she a great writer, but this true story is super relevant to people working in, on and around technology and who are interested in human connection and storytelling.  

A lot of your illustrations seem to happen in transit (airports, events, street corners) — is there something in particular that’s appealing about transitional spaces and moments?

When in transit, people reflect, mull, worry, remember, sleep… These are all very intimate acts to be doing in a public space. And I love to eavesdrop. So I guess drawing in public is like visual eavesdropping on someone’s private time. It’s also very mediative for me. Drawing allows my brain to stop moving (see question above). Kind of like putting a baby to sleep in a moving car. 

Who or what recently inspired you to do something differently?

At a conference recently a friend asked me what I was going to do the next morning. I said, yoga. He said, do you always go to yoga at home? I said, yes. He said, well since you’re not at home, why not do something you can’t do at home? And i did. And it ended up being a profound, life-altering experience.

(And sorry, I am not telling you what it was.)


INTERVIEW: SHE KEEPS BEES X SHENANDOAH…
…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. She Keeps Bees unleashes their smoky, pure power tonight at 10pm, and Shenandoah plays a set of melodic pop noir on May 27. Coming up — a round robin with North Highlands (May 13 — Mother’s Day!) and Lacrymosa (May 20).
Shenandoah:
Hello She Keeps Bees, glad to make your acquaintance. First question that comes to mind is what do you do to boost the spirits when you encounter many red lights? (AKA difficult times).
She Keeps Bees:
Hi Shenandoah! Wonderful to meet you! Andy and I like to dance. Dance it out and drink coffee — surrender to the change, honor it and be pleasantly surprised by the natural solution. Or I’d like to think we don’t do what we normally do, which is complain and sulk and have a beer in bed at 3:30 in the afternoon.
What’s your favorite tree? Favorite Ray? Ray Ramono, Ray Charles, Link Wray, Ray Davies, Amy Ray, Ray Stevens, Ray’s Pizza, Ray Ban, Ray LaMontagne, Rachel Ray, Blu Ray!

Shenandoah:
My favorite tree is ceder for smell, oak for shade, and aspen for glittering on hill tops. The redwoods are where I come from, they make places pretty dark and musty.
So many good Ray’s. I’m really into Le Carrè, John Le Carrè.
If money wasn’t a concern, what would your house look like? Where would it be?
She Keeps Bees:
We’re not very extravagant, so we’d probably still choose something pretty humble even if money weren’t a concern. Free Cabin Porn is always making us drool over secluded cabins in far away places.
Last Question: What place in the world would you most like to visit/play a show
Shenandoah:
Ooh, Greece, definitely Greece!

INTERVIEW: SHE KEEPS BEES X SHENANDOAH…

…wherein we resurrect a tag game of bright minds performing in the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during May at our live music residency on Sunday nights, curated by Chris Tucci, who spins B-sides and rarities before and after sets. She Keeps Bees unleashes their smoky, pure power tonight at 10pm, and Shenandoah plays a set of melodic pop noir on May 27. Coming up — a round robin with North Highlands (May 13 — Mother’s Day!) and Lacrymosa (May 20).

Shenandoah:

Hello She Keeps Bees, glad to make your acquaintance. First question that comes to mind is what do you do to boost the spirits when you encounter many red lights? (AKA difficult times).

She Keeps Bees:

Hi Shenandoah! Wonderful to meet you! Andy and I like to dance. Dance it out and drink coffee — surrender to the change, honor it and be pleasantly surprised by the natural solution. Or I’d like to think we don’t do what we normally do, which is complain and sulk and have a beer in bed at 3:30 in the afternoon.

What’s your favorite tree? Favorite Ray? Ray Ramono, Ray Charles, Link Wray, Ray Davies, Amy Ray, Ray Stevens, Ray’s Pizza, Ray Ban, Ray LaMontagne, Rachel Ray, Blu Ray!

Shenandoah:

My favorite tree is ceder for smell, oak for shade, and aspen for glittering on hill tops. The redwoods are where I come from, they make places pretty dark and musty.

So many good Ray’s. I’m really into Le Carrè, John Le Carrè.

If money wasn’t a concern, what would your house look like? Where would it be?

She Keeps Bees:

We’re not very extravagant, so we’d probably still choose something pretty humble even if money weren’t a concern. Free Cabin Porn is always making us drool over secluded cabins in far away places.

Last Question: What place in the world would you most like to visit/play a show

Shenandoah:

Ooh, Greece, definitely Greece!


Powered by Tumblr