31 January 2009
Phillips de Pury Contemporary Art

It's not the best time to sell art given the economy, which makes it a great time to be on the buying side. If by some act of God you have enough dispoable cash right now to buy, London auction house Phillips de Pury has two sales coming up -- Contemporary Art Evening and Contemporary Art Day -- that you won't want to miss.

On 02.12.09 is the Contemporary Art Evening Sale. As I don't frequent art auctions -- I just write about them and admire the work from afar -- I'm not sure if the projected price ranges are good deals or not, and I'm sure the auction houses have the estimates at or above where they were last year in hopes of getting what they want instead of what is real. The esimates, of course, are just that. Many, many pieces sell below the estimate and from what I've been reading lately -- layoffs at both Christie's and Sotheby's -- the time is right.

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30 January 2009
Coachella 2009 Line Up

It's official: the line up for the 2009 Coachella Festival is out!

I honestly don't know what to say about Paul McCartney headlining Friday night. He's a legend and all, but he's #1,340 on my list of shows I want to see before I die. To me, it looks like a last ditch effort that went very, very wrong.

Thankfully, Friday has some other cool bands playing on other stages at various times (or something like that. I have to admit I don't really know how it works b/c I can never afford to go, but you get the idea.) Who would I see on Friday if I were to go: Leonard Cohen, Silversun Pickups, Beirut, The Hold Steady, and M Ward. I honestly don't recognize a lot of the names, which could be great for finding a new favorite. Felix Da Housecat, though? I'm glad the guy's still getting gigs, but come on folks.

Saturday is much better: The Killers headline with Henry Rollins, Amy Winehouse, TV On The Radio, MSTRKRFT, Superchunk, Hercules and Love Affair, and Gang Gang Dance.

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30 January 2009
Leandro Erlich + Kenneth Anger @ PS1

As I sit in my warm apartment typing this post, the bleak cold of New York in January dominates the outside world. All I want is for me to be laying on the beach somewhere in the warm sunlight ready to dip in the ocean for a short swim. Since that's not going to happen, I've decided instead to head to LIC to check out Swimming Pool by Argentinian artist Leandro Erlich.

Erlich has constructed a full-size pool, complete with all its trappings, including a deck and a ladder. When approached from the first floor, visitors are confronted with a surreal scene: people, fully clothed, can be seen standing, walking, and breathing beneath the surface of the water. It is only when visitors enter the Duplex gallery from the basement that they recognize that the pool is empty, its construction a visual trick fashioned by the artist. A large, continuous piece of acrylic spans the pool and suspends water above it, creating the illusion of a standard swimming pool that is both disorienting and humorous.

Not quite South Beach, but I'll take what I can get at this point and the installation looks and sounds hot. Read more about it here.

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29 January 2009
Cheap Monday Mega Giveaway!!!

My friends at super cool showroom The News have hooked me up with a whopping 10 pairs of Cheap Monday jeans (retail value $65) to give away to you my faithful readers this week.

Cheap Monday, as I'm sure you know, was THE jean that really launched the skinny jean revolution.

Founder Örjan Andersson doesn't hate expensive jeans, he just found a way to make premium denim cheap. Cheap Monday started out as a private label Andersson sold out of his Weekday stores in Stockholm. Hanging on racks next to big name denim, Cheap Monday held its own, gaining a cult like following, which rages on. Cheap Monday's signature unwashed stretch fit is I-can-see-your-pulse superslim cool.

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28 January 2009
Tretorn + Comme des Garcons

Ch-ch-ch-ch-check it out!

One of my favorite sneakers brands -- Sweden's Tretorn -- has hooked up with one of my favorite fashion labels -- Japan's Comme des Garcons -- to create sneakers that will release later this year. One low top sneaker in white and navy and one high top sneaker in cream and green have will be produced for the Fall/Winter 2009 season.

The sneakers are classic Tretorn styles with minimally inspired quasi Buddhist (Spirit, Training, Himilaya) text written on the outside of the sneakers in black in. It's very simple and chic, which befits both brands perfectly and just might help you feel more balanced as you run around during an average day.

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28 January 2009
Robert Geller

If you've been paying any attention at all to men's fashion over the past 5 or so years, you'll instantly recognize the name Cloak.

Creator and lead designer Alexandre Plokhov, who was once a pattern maker for Marc Jacobs, launched the runaway line and later took on a partner -- fellow Marc Jacobs alum German-born, LA-raised Robert Geller -- before the untimely demise of the brand -- and Plakhov's move to working Donatella Versace -- a few years back.

Not even close to being ready to throw in the towel, the time was ripe for Geller in early 2007 to branch out and design his own menswear line, aptly named Robert Geller.

The line has won critical acclaim and is a favorite of fashionistos (sorry I had to!) the world around. Not surprising, given Geller's knack for cut and fit married with amazing fabrics and little twists that make each piece just a little more interesting than most. His mix of tailored yet loose cuts with hard yet soft looks is perfectly geared towards today's fashion conscious gents, never going too far in one direction or another. Even with the Fall/Winter collections, which tend to be much darker and more sober than the Spring/Summer collections, Geller's touch is just right.

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27 January 2009
TV On The Radio + David Bowie

Sick sick and more sick, to quote a friend whose half of the design team for a hot SF-based clothing line. No names mentioned, of course.

From Stereogum: We mentioned War Child's Heroes and offered a listen to the contributions from Lily Allen and Hot Chip. Remember the concept behind the compilation: 15 "ultimate icons" chose a song from their own back catalogs and chose a new act to cover it.

David Bowie chose TV On The Radio to take on the collection's namesake. If you recall, he sang backing vocals on Cookie Mountain's Province, so look at it as returning the favor. Or as trust.

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27 January 2009
Jakob Kolding + Team

Mark you calendars art lovers: Team Gallery has a show opening on 02.19.09 that you must check out. It's called memories of the future and features new posters, collages, lambda prints and sculptures by Berlin-based Danish artist Jakob Kolding.

Kolding's collages take as their subject the cultural collisions inadvertently set up by the contemporary city. Kolding's work celebrates a number of urban cultural, synthetic emanations (hip-hop, graffiti, skateboarding, electronic music), as well as the aesthetics of urban studies. Hybrids of invention and documentation, renderings and diagrams, his work depicts processes and events, historical and futuristic narratives pointing to propositions and effects of urban economics, planning, architecture, ecology, transportation systems, politics, and social relations.

The materials Kolding chooses, often looking like several generations of reproductions and suggesting the possibility of mass-production, give his forms and imagery the clinical quality of propaganda used to advocate public plans.

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27 January 2009
Lodger

My obsession with shoes continues.

I had the realization today that I'm digitally prepping myself to make the big move into the world of dress shoes. It's kinda like how my dad used to wear dress shoes with sweatpants: he couldn't do sneakers. I'm the opposite: I've worn sneakers for so long and I'm so good at it, I'm scared to take the leap and just don't know what to buy or what to wear them with.

Bespoke shoe desingers Lodger from London have just given me another reason to inch a little closer to my transition For anyone reading whose not yet familiar with the term, bespoke has been commercialised to connote that a given industrial product (usually not clothes) can be made unique via its "customisation" to the client's requirements of material and fit.

No matter how you slice it, a bespoke item will fit you because it's been made to order using, in the instance of Lodger, your feet as guides. Their custom fit starts out with a 3D laser scan to build a virtual model of each foot that is accurate to less than 1 mm!

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26 January 2009
Nice Collective F/W 2009

It's always good to have inside connections. I tried several times to get to the SoHo loft where SF designers Nice Collective were showing their Fall/Winter 2009 collection last week for market week and managed to get in just before they took it all down to see what's on the horizon.

For starters, the concept behind the collection is based around the idea of a time machine, which perfect to follow last season's VOIX DE VILLE collection that featured a crazy side-show vaudeville party/run way show that was the highlight of men's fashion week. If you missed that party, you really missed out. It was nothing like any other fashion week event I've been to in my New York tenure. Leave it to the boys from SF to mix things up.

Back to the F/W 2009 collection. For starters, it's a full-on collection. Perhaps I wasn't paying attention before -- which is highly likely -- but this time around Ian and Joey have out designed even themselves. By my estimation, it's their biggest and best collection yet.

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26 January 2009
The Double Club

One of my favorite artists -- Carsten Höller -- and one of my favorite arts organizations -- Fondazione Prada -- have teamed up to create The Double Club, a not-for-profit organisation that donates 50% of its profits to the City of Joy charity that generates specialised projects to help abused women and children in the Congo.

Located in an old Victorian warehouse just beside the Angel tube station, The Double Club offers a unique approach to entertainment and hospitality, as well as creating a dialogue between Congolese and Western contemporary music, lifestyle, arts and design. Open for a limited duration of 6 months, The Double Club is not only a vibrant new public space in London but also an alliance of two cultures in real life that facilitates the cross-pollination without any attempt of fusion.

The Double Club consists of three spaces: Bar, Restaurant and Dance Club.

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26 January 2009
Choose Chinatown + Cheap Monday

Swedish label Cheap Monday -- the label that brought skinny jeans to the world -- is set to introduce a new line to the US for Spring/Summer 09 called WKND, a casual street wear line for men and women that will make its US debut at a new concept store in Los Angeles's Chinatown. Like Odin's concept store in New York -- DEN -- the pop up store will change its theme to keep things fresh.

Mirroring today's anxious mood, the WKND collection invokes images of destruction in the form of earthquakes, flooding, typhoons, and volcanoes. In this dark reality, WKND designer Peter Jansson has created a stimulating collection of batwing jackets, leggings, tanks, and tees.

The prints used in WKND SS09 are derived from real typhoon photographs and from hurricane shapes based on traditional lace patterns. The mix of modern photography with old world craftwork represents the axiom that in the face of destruction, people return to their roots.

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25 January 2009
Rick Owens + SHOWstudio

SHOWstudio just shot the ever elusive Mr Owens, which I'm guessing will post on their site sometime shortly.

In the meantime, they've posted a video highlighting said shoot with footage of the designer giving his take on the relationship between fashion and men and fashion and women, which is perfectly put and gives much-needed insight into the workings behind his mens' collection.

Nick Knight's latest shoot with Rick Owens may have finished, but as the SHOWstudio cameras were rolling throughout the day, not a moment went unrecorded. They've sliced, spliced and edited the day's footage into a two-minute short showcasing highlights of the action on set, with Rick's own voice as fitting soundtrack. This film is a sneak preview in every sense of the term, premiering Nick's vision of Rick, the aesthetic of the fashion film currently in production with Ruth Hogben and a snippet from our own film of an exclusive interview with Rick. Both fashion shorts will feature on SHOWstudio later this year, coinciding with the launch of Arena Homme Plus' Winter issue.

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25 January 2009
TOYGIANTS

German photographers Daniel & Geo Fuchs are currently showing a series of photos entitled TOYGIANTS at the Young Gallery in Brussels.

As the point of departure for their photo series TOYGIANTS, Daniel and Geo Fuchs use the, to a certain extent, highly political world of toy figures, which are sold and traded internationally. The artists created portraits of toys in large-sized prints: American comic heroes of the 1960s; muscle-bound fantasy figures; Japanese Manga superstars; actors and directors such as Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, and Quentin Tarantino; even world-leaders such as George W. Bush and his opponent Saddam Hussein; or artists such as Andy Warhol who are presented as "toys".

They began their work on TOYGIANTS with Batman, Superman and Hulk. The belief in progress is written on the faces of these figures, as is the idealism with which comic heroes are charged. How different the worn-out and spent faces of Willis or Stallone, a soldier of the Cold War era for whom it seems no task remains.

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24 January 2009
Burgers, Cupcakes, + Hot Chocolate

Sometimes you live somewhere so long that you just take everything for granted. It's nice to take a day or so every month to get out of the rut you've been living and do the things that you've read about a million times and keep meaning to do, but just never get around to it. Today was that day for me.

After three unsucessful attempts at getting rush tickets for Broadway shows -- those are the ones you can get just prior to a performance for $30 if there are any seats left -- my friend and I were on a mission to eat. Like almost everyone who's not from the US, his favorite thing to eat is the quintessential all American hamburger. While not my first choice when thinking of what to eat, I love burgers, so off we were.

I have this really bad habit of getting the wrong thing stuck in my head. I remembered reading all the "Best Of" hamburger articles about the swanky hotel with the greasy little hamburger joint off the lobby. The Royalton popped into my head. Or was it the Carlton??

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23 January 2009
Panic In Needle Park

You know I'm a sucker for New York nostalgia, especially when the time period is the 70s or 80s and there's drugs and crime involved. That's why I can't wait to go see Jerry Schatzberg's 1971 drama Panic In Needle Park starring Pacino in his big screen debut at Film Forum.

There's little triangle at the intersection of Broadway and 72nd St. (aka Sherman Square) where decent Midwesterner Kitty Winn is headed from the moment she spies artist boyfriend Raul Julia making a connection with small-time crook and pusher Al Pacino. Scintillating star debut for Pacino (Paramount execs green-lighted him for The Godfather only after Coppola screened Panic for them) as the Boyfriend from Hell — and an equally smashing debut for Winn, granddaughter of General George C. Marshall: she won the Best Actress award at Cannes for her performance.

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23 January 2009
Denton May Interview
by People V Hanratty

So I wanted to start the interview with the most basic stock question in the book. How would you best describe your music?
Tropical countrypolitan pop music. Great for a fun and flirty night out with the girls or a rainy Sunday afternoon snuggling up with some kittens.

What do you find are the most common misconceptions of Taylor, Mississippi and life in the South?
(5) We don't wear shoes.
(4) It smells bad.
(3) We live in shanty towns down by the river.
(2) We smoke corncob pipes often.
(1) There aren't any condos.

Please tell us about your side project Dent Sweat, Is it still active, do the kids go wild?
I've been writing and recording some more electronic music that I was going to release as an alterego, Dent Sweat. I'm definitely going to finish it, but I might still release it under my real name. I haven't decided. It's inspired by early disco and Chicago house and rap and R&B. Very sexy stuff.

I understand you attended what has been quoted as, "3 unsuccessful semesters at NYU". Do you care to elaborate? What were your thoughts on life in NYC?
It wasn't necessarily unsuccessful in an academic sense. I made good grades, but I didn't learn that much while I was there. I was in a film program and sort of had an epiphany moment realizing that my creativity was being a bit stifled. Plus, I knew I wanted to be working on music instead. I still really enjoy visiting the city. It's a beautiful place.

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22 January 2009
Various Projects Giveaway!!!

My friends at Various Projects (the duo who also own super cool LES store PROJECT No. 8) have graciously given me one of their minimal chic sterling silver key rings (retail value $70) to give away to you my faithful readers this week.

Elizabeth Beer & Brian Janusiak formed Various Projects, as a multidisciplinary design collaboration, in 2005. Their store (PROJECT No. 8) is their eighth project together.

Having a retail space is a chance for the designers to experiment with reoccurring themes from their own work: concerns with distribution, collaboration, sustainability, digression and the creation of fluxuating communities.

Additionally, Various Projects produces an expanding line of clothing and accessories. By selling their own line at Project No. 8, Beer and Janusiak are able to offer very high quality designs at reasonable prices.

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21 January 2009
Animal Collective + Terminal 5

One of the hottest indie bands on the scene at the moment -- Animal Collective -- are playing Terminal 5 on 05.13.09. Tickets go on sale Friday 01.23.09 at noon.

After a few months hiatus, I just started listening to Animal Collective (and side project spinoff band Panda Bear) and am psyched to see them live, as I got to All Points East just a bit too late to catch them there.

If you're unfamiliar with the band: Animal Collective is a music collective of avant-garde musicians from Baltimore consisting of Avey Tare (David Portner), Panda Bear (Noah Lennox), Deakin (Josh Dibb), and Geologist (Brian Weitz). Records released under the name Animal Collective may include contributions from any or all of these members; the lineup is not uniform.

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21 January 2009
Hussein Chalayan + From fashion and back

Turkish born, London-based fashion designer Hussein Chalayan opens a show entitled From fashion and back tonight at the Design Museum in London.

The exhibition is the first comprehensive presentation of Chalayan's work in the UK. Spanning 15 years of experimental projects, the exhibition explores the designer's creative approach, his inspirations, and the many themes which influence his work such as cultural identity, displacement and migration.

Exhibits will include Afterwords which explores the notion of 'wearable, portable architecture' in which furniture literally transforms itself into garments; Airborne bringing the latest LED technology to fashion design with a spectacular dress consisting of dazzling crystals and over 15,000 flickering LED lights and Readings a dress comprising of over 200 moving lasers presenting an extraordinary spectacle of light.

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21 January 2009
Simon Hoegsberg

I got an email this morning from a photographer with the subject "Possibly the world's longest photograph". I'm not one for world records, but superlatives always get me. I wasn't 100% sure I wanted to cover the world's longest photo. That's why we have the Guiness Book of World Records, right??

Thankfully, my curiosity was piqued, because Dutch photographer Simon Hoegsberg has some amazing work in his portfolio. My favorite project -- Faces Of New York -- epitomizes Hoegsberg's work: it's real, it's personal, and his subjects straddle the extraordinary/ordinary line that's not easy to find. And let's not forget, his seemingly quickie outdoor portraits have a look that's more art than street photography.

"Once in a while I see a person on the street who immediately attracts my attention. I’m fascinated by the appearance of the person and feel a strong urge to walk over and say hi.

"I spent one month, seven hours a day, walking the streets of New York in search for people who had this effect on me. I found ten, and asked each of them the same question: What do you think about your face?" The pics and the responses rock.

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20 January 2009
Aer Obama

I didn't want to take a pass on Obama-mania, but wasn't going to post something unless it was hot. Upon awaking this morning, I got a press release announcing Adam Freeland's remix of Daft Punk's Aerodynamic entitled Aer Obama.

The song rocks and the video is amazing!!! This is what the director -- Gold Greendot -- has to say on his Vimeo page:

The following is a mixed-media stop motion music video and celebration commemorating the election and inauguration of Barack Obama as the forty-fourth president of these United States. Audibly showcasing Adam Freeland's remix of Daft Punk's Aerodynamic and the imaginative stylings of forward thinking toy artists Dalek, Bill McMullen and Kubrick to name just a few.

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20 January 2009
On Pedder

There's this super hot shoe store based out of Hong Kong -- On Pedder -- I came across a while back and have been wanting to write about, but never quite got around to it. I just got an email announcing a sneak peak starting 01.20 running through 01.16.09 featuring Givenchy's Spring/Summer 2009 Accessories line. How chic.

This store is so Asia. It's high-end in a way that we don't really know in the US. The kind of store that would make Bergdorf's look a little like H&M. Well, kinda...

Established in 1996 in the heart of Hong Kong’s most prestigious shopping destination, On Pedder has built a reputation as Asia’s foremost source of designer footwear, handbags, fine jewelry and fashion accessories.

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19 January 2009
Art 21 Salon Series + Laurie Anderson

If you're not familiar with Art21, you really should be.

Art21 was founded in 1997 with the belief that contemporary visual art is of real interest and value to a broad audience. By making contemporary art more accessible through public television and the Internet, Art21 affords an intimate encounter with contemporary art and the people who make it, encouraging creative thinking and self-expression.

I came to know Art21 through their PBS series, which I rented from Netflix. Art in the Twenty-First Century is a groundbreaking documentary television series focusing exclusively on contemporary visual art by artists working in the United States today. The series provides behind-the-scenes views of the artists in their studios, homes, and communities. The artists speak directly to the audience, in their own words, about how, why, and what they create. Check out the Art:21 section on PBS.com.

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18 January 2009
Fly + Rework + Mads Noorgard

Fly has just released their latest fashion video -- Copenhagen X -- directed by Noam Griegst featuring clothing by Mads Norgaard and the super sexy song Copenhagen by Germany's Rework.

Check it out. As always, it's super hot.

Best part for me, it's introducing me to a new designer and a new band, which is always a plus. Like everyone else, I love to see names I know already, but being introduced to new artists and designers is always welcome.

The band Rework was founded in 2000 by Daniel Varga and Michel Kübler. In 2005 they discovered the singer Sascha Hedgehog at a concert with her French beat punk band Les Quitriche, which sparked an immediate musical partnership. The boys produce while Sascha writes the lyrics and works on the melodies. Since the three share the same musical influences and Idols from Velvet Underground to New Wave and EBM, they quickly agree on a style, gravitating between club, indie, cabaret and house.

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18 January 2009
Feed

I was reading an article a few weeks back that mentioned a video called Feed that sounded like the most genius thing ever made. While that may have been a bit of an extreme expectation, after watching it, it definitely ranks. Anyone with interest in media, politics, and celebrity should check it out.

Says the New Yorker: Kevin Rafferty and James Ridgeway thank Michael Moore in the credits of their 1992 documentary, but their assemblage of TV footage from the 1992 New Hampshire primary—mostly culled from embarrassing moments that were originally contained in the video that was part of the TV stations' in-house "feed"—does more than subject preening Republicans to ridicule. It shows how media campaigning is demeaning to left and right alike, and how numbing it can be for the electorate.

In one of the documentary's crowning ironies, no one articulates the system's superficiality better than Jerry Brown, but no one demonstrates its absurdity more self-destructively. If George H. W. Bush proves himself out of touch when admiring the price scanner at a checkout line, Brown comes off as a relic from a lost counterculture when he asks a college class if anyone has heard of Marshall McLuhan.

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16 January 2009
3.1 Philip Lim

Although I wouldn't personally wear it head-to-toe, the Spring 2009 collection by 3.1 Philip Lim has some pieces that have tickled my fancy.

Lim, who debuted in 2005 with a his 3.1 womenswear collection, didn't branch out into men's until 2007. While seemingly unknown to the masses, Lim is far from being an unknown designer. His lines are sold in over 250 boutiques in 28 countries around the world and he's recently opened 2 more freestanding stores -- one in Tokyo and one in LA -- in addition to the original in New York. And let's not forget the CFDA stamp of approval he got a few years back. No matter how you look at it: Philip Lim's is big time.

"Classic with a sense of madness" is how Lim once described his work. His knack is for giving accessible, wearable clothes that little something extra is all his. When you see the collections, simplicity is a defining factor in the overall look of the pieces, but simple his clothes are not.

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16 January 2009
Halbstark + Karlheinz Weinberger

If you haven't made it to Anna Kustera yet for the Karlheinz Weinberger show that runs through 01.30.09, now there's even more incentive to do so: the US premiere of documentary film Halbstark, which is running in conjunction with the Weinberger show Vintage Prints: Belts, Jackets, Couples and More, is being screened tomorrow evening at the gallery.

Adrian Winkler's documentary focuses on a unique Swiss subculture from the late 1950's and early 1960's. The teens that comprised what their Swiss elders referred to as the Halbstark (translates as "half strong") were the punks of their day. Reviled by the mainstream, they gathered in public squares clothed in unique get-ups of customized denim, to drink and listen to rock music.

Through the use of early news footage, the voyeuristic images by renowned photographer, Karlheinz Weinberger, and snapshots taken by various members, Halbstark gives a glimpse into the day in a life of some of the halbstarken then and now.

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15 January 2009
Ju$t Another Rich Kid Print Giveaway!!!

I've been so busy that I got mixed up with this week's giveaway! I thought I had something lined up, but I was I wrong. What I do have, though, is a dyptich I made last year called Untitled: The Heartbreakers + The Ramones ($1,000 value). In situations like these, give away some Ju$t Another Rich Kid art!!

The dyptich was originally featured in a group show at Anna Kustera called Urbanity On Paper and is currently on view and for sale at Opus Art in the UK.

From an ongoing body of work entitled Blood Simple, Untitled: The Heartbreakers + The Ramones features a 1970's New Year's Eve flyer for a loft party in New York at which the seminal punk band The Ramones played alongside the influential Heartbreakers and a DJ set by Wayne County.

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15 January 2009
Thais Zumblick

Slowly but surely I'm warming up to contemporary portraiture. It's not an easy pill to swallow, as I've always been a bigger fan of abstract art, but all of the amazing work I've seen lately has made me think twice.

Case in point: Thais Zumblick.

If Elizabeth Peyton and Kehinde Wiley had a daugther, who lives and works in Buenos Aires, her name would most definitely be Thais Zumblick.

Zumblich studied architecture in in her native Brazil for 3 years before moving to Florence, where she finished her training studying drawing, painting, and art history. Despite studying and living in Italy -- both Florence and Milan -- for over 6 years, Thais' portraiture never lost a certain Brazilian realism and naivite, which are two of the defining features of her work.

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14 January 2009
Patti Smith Dream Of Life DVD

For all you hardcore Patti Smith fans and for anyone who missed its run at Film Forum, Dream Of Life is now available on DVD. Finally!

Eleven years in the making, Patti Smith: Dream of Life (a feature length documentary with recent concert footage) is a unique and intimate portrait of the renowned singer, songwriter, poet, and activist. Patti Smith's music, poetry, and politics are fearless, funny, raw, and original. Photographer-director Steven Sebring creates a beautiful collage of images, memories, and performances, illuminating the complexities and capturing the essence of this distinctive, legendary icon.

The film traces Patti Smith's punk-poet roots through the trials of daily life and untimely deaths that have formed her life and art. Smith narrates the film touching on her early days in New York City, the people dearest to her (late husband Fred "Sonic" Smith, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Mapplethorpe, and others), her family, and the political causes she champions.

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14 January 2009
Oki Ni + Raf Simons

I can't seem to shake my footwear obsession. Everywhere I look, it's hot boots, shoes, sneakers, and I'm sure once the weather gets nicer, I'll start to look at flip flops too.

The latest pair of sneakers to strike my fancy: Raf Simons Half Blocked Military Trainer available at Oki Ni. The Raf Simons Half Blocked military style ankle sneaker in soft white leather featuring striking black toecap detail, padding at the ankle and subtly branded Velcro straps to fasten. This shoe consists of simple clean lines with white piping for definition.

Just look at them: they're just short of perfection, well despite the nearly $600 price tag that is. I'd also have trouble figuring out if they'd look better kept brand brand new or if I'd want to break them in a bit, which at that price might be a hard pill to swallow. Thankfully, my frugality doesn't get in the way of my day dreams, just my actual purchases. Don't forget to check out the pair with the inverted color scheme, which I'm not as fond of.

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13 January 2009
People V Hanratty Weekly Mix

Sorry I have not done one of these in a while. This week mix makes no sense, but it does have a few gems. I really advocate the videos this week. Will really blow you away. Anyways enjoy Happy New Years etc.. I will definitely be sticking to this on a weekly basis and also plan to expand it some other areas of musical triteness.

10. Daily Routine (Animal Collective) / Not my favorite or even my second favorite song on the record and it would probably make me sea sick on a boat, but still amazing.

9. Our Girls (Baby Bird Don’t Drink Milk) / I have played this for many people to no reaction, so of course I will make it part of the mix. Very distant singing as if it was recorded in some distant mythical land like…Lawrence, Kansas. Also maybe a poor mans Animal Collective, but I like it.

8. I'm Very Scared Buster, Yes At Last (George Pringle) / I just find this is quite a nice winter song for some reason, sort of a distinctly British song. The song is admittedly rather vacuous, but really enjoyable. I always expected this to be really popular.

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13 January 2009
Tierney Gearon + Phillips de Pury

If you like Tierney Gearon, you'll want to stop by Phillips de Pury in London to check out a show of recent work by the American photographer entitled EXPLOSURE.

This exhibition will present for the first time, a selection of large-scale photographs employing a new process for the artist. With no retouching or post work, Tierney Gearon's photographs are contrived through the more classic mechanism of double exposure in camera. Each photograph has been composed by carefully combining two of the artist's images whose compositions and themes act as counterpoints to each other: interior space and wilderness; youth and old age; solitude and companionship. The result is a powerful exploration of psychological terrain.

The artist, her children and friends are the characters in these dramas which are staged against the backdrop of landscape spanning locales in South Africa, India, Italy to upstate New York and the artist's home in Los Angeles.

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12 January 2009
Okkervil River

I burn through music so fast, sometimes it's hard for even me to keep up. One of the bands that I'm particulary impressed with at the moment is an indie folk band from Austin named Okkervil River.

Following a typical pattern for me and certain bands, I liked them okay on the first few listens, but I didn't get an instant "this is the best band/song ever" sensation. Slowly, but surely, that all changed. Not only did I have to get used to their brand of music, but like a fine wine, the intricacies and genius of Okkervil River aren't apparent as soon as the wine hits your tongue, so to speak.

Not surprisingly, the band is on indie power house label Jagjaguwar, whose roster of artists also includes Black Mountain, Bon Iver, Daniel Johnston, Ladyhawke, Pink Mountaintops, and Sunset Rubdown.

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12 January 2009
Godard's Made in U.S.A.

It only took 40 years, but finally the Godard film Made In U.S.A. is finally making its premiere in the US at Film Forum.

How could that be?! Made in U.S.A. is a 1966 French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. Greatly inspired by the Howard Hawks film The Big Sleep and unofficially based on the novel The Jugger, by Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake), it stars Anna Karina, Jean-Pierre Léaud, László Szabó; and Yves Afonso. Because neither Godard or the producer paid the book's adaptation rights and following legal action by Westlake, the film has been more or less unavailable in the United States.

Read the full Wiki here. "The many shots of Anna Karina, with their wide variety of mood — each a different pose, angle, expression — serve as a catalogue of remembrances. The close-ups are the most expressive ones in color that Godard has made to date." says Richard Brody from the New Yorker.

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11 January 2009
Teddy Boy Boots

My ongoing obsession continues with the latest collection of boots -- and a few pair of shoes -- from Teddy Boy on the LES. It's amazing how much goes on in this city that I can't keep up with. How long has this store been open?? I gotta get out more.

The British Teddy Boy subculture is typified by young men wearing clothes inspired by the styles of the Edwardian period, which Savile Row tailors had tried to re-introduce after World War II. The group got its name after a 1953 newspaper headline shortened Edward to Teddy and coined the term Teddy Boy (also known as Ted). The subculture started in London in the 1950s and rapidly spread across the UK, soon becoming strongly associated with American rock and roll music of the period. The Teddy Boys were the first youth group in England to differentiate themselves as teenagers, thus helping to create a youth market.

Read more here. The store has a line of clothes and a line of boots with a few shoe styles thrown in.

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10 January 2009
Top 10 Playlist

You probably remember when I covered Sunset Rubdown in June. For those who don't know, Sunset Rubdown is one of the side projects of Wolf Parade lead singer Spencer Krug.

While I was into it at first -- especially after the disappointment that was Wolf Parade's second LP -- Random Spirit Lover didn't really keep my attention. Good, but not great. Then last week, a friend gave me a burned copy of Sunset Rubdown's earlier LP Shut Up I'm Dreaming and I'm ob-sessed.

Krug's breathy, exasperated delivery is at its peak and there's one song that I can't stop listening to: Shut Up I Am Dreaming Of Places Where Lovers Have Wings, which inspired this week's playlist.

I feel the need to make sure as many people hear this song as possible. It's epic. It'll make you wish you could stop time and revel in the joy this song brings you in all its indie rock glory. How this wasn't the #1 song of 2006, I do not know.

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09 January 2009
EDUN Women's Giveaway!!!

My friends at EDUN -- the super hot, socially-conscious line owned by Bono -- want you to take note! They're doing two giveaways in the next few weeks -- one for men and one for women. First up: the Alyce Shirt Dress (retail $325) is hot hot hot.

EDUN -- launched in Spring 2005 -- was founded by Ali Hewson and Bono. It's a business with a conscience, founded on the premise of trade as a means of building sustainable communities in developing countries to help foster economic growth rather than provide charity. EDUN utilizes locally run factories in Africa, South America and India. EDUN does not build and does not own these factories. Chew on that.

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09 January 2009
Raf Simons + Fred Perry

The master of menswear -- Raf Simons -- is back this season with a fresh, new collection for British street wear line Fred Perry. This time out, the Belgian purveyor of navy and black serves up a fresh, new palette that will stop you in your tracks.

The SS09 collection has taken a new direction from their previous 'all black' AW08 range. The inspiration is drawn form West African culture which can be seen in the natural fabrics and vibrant colour palette of copper brown, earth orange, regal blue and honey hues worked in multi coloured striping. Sleeves are longer sitting lightly on the fingers, open knits create an interesting combination of both punk and African influences.

The collection is comprised of 25 pieces. Key pieces include clever re-working of the classic Fred Perry shirt in an open knit multi stripe fabric and a similar style worked in 100% raffia open knit in stunning caramel and silver.

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08 January 2009
Stephen Sprouse Rock on Mars @ Deitch

There are very few openings that I feel that I have to go to anymore, but the opening of the new Stephen Sprouse show -- Rock On Mars -- at Deitch is one of them.

Stephen Sprouse (1953-2004) was one of the most influential fashion designers of his time and a key figure in the dynamic mix of punk rock, wild style graffiti, and street influenced fashion that characterized the downtown New York community in the early 1980s. He was one of the first to build on the influence of Andy Warhol to create a fusion of art, music and fashion. He continued on a course that disavowed any division among these fields throughout his career.

The exhibition will introduce Sprouse's extraordinary pop-influenced paintings to the larger art audience. His paintings of iconic rock and roll imagery including stacks of loudspeakers, Sid Vicious with his pants down, and an Iggy Pop crucifixion, have rarely been seen.

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07 January 2009
William Eggleston + The Whitney

Anyone who's serious about photography must see the current show at the Whitney William Eggleston: Democratic Camera - Photographs and Video, 1961-2008, a comprehensive selection from nearly fifty years of image-making.

One of the most influential photographers of the last half-century, William Eggleston has defined the history of color photography. His great achievement in photography can be described in a straightforward way: he captures everyday moments and transforms them into indelible images.

This exhibition is the artist's first retrospective in the United States and includes both his color and black-and-white photographs as well as Stranded in Canton, the artist's video work from the early 1970s. The exhibition will travel throughout the United States as well as to the Haus der Kunst in Munich following its New York presentation.

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06 January 2009
Diesel Black Gold

I really don't know why, but lately I am obsessed with shoes, which is beyond strange, because I'm a sneaker guy. Or so I thought. Maybe it's just because of the incredible amount of really cool shoes currently on the market and those that keep popping up that my interest is piqued.

On the block this time is a sick pair of black boots by Diesel's latest spinoff line Diesel Black Gold. Not that I'd ever wear a pair now and don't take this literally, but for some reason they remind me of Doc Marten's back in the day but refined for the present. The distressed black leather, the shape, and the wooden heel are all icing on the cake. I want them now!

At $388 the chances you'll see these babies on my feet anytime soon is slim, but wanting is much better than having, or at least that's what I tell myself anyway. Check them out on Oak's site under their Spring 2009 sneak peak section.

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06 January 2009
What We Do Is Secret

I'll start off by telling you the acting in this movie is horrific. I'm convinced Bijou Phillips "acts" in movies for free just to get the low level of fame she has, because nobody in their right mind would ever pay her to ruin so many films.

That having been said, I rented last year's major sleeper What We Do Is Secret because it's a biopic on The Germs and the "Live Fast, Die Young" lead singer of the short-lived LA punk band Darby Crash.

What We Do Is Secret is a punk rock biopic directed by Rodger Grossman based on the seminal 1970s Los Angeles punk band, The Germs, and their lead singer, Darby Crash. Grossman also wrote the screenplay for the film, based on a story by Grossman and one of Darby's best friends, Michelle Baer Ghaffari (who produced the film).

The film centers on the narrative of The Germs and their lead singers' five-year plan to become a legend. The band's history culminates in Crash's tragic planned suicide, which was ironically overshadowed in the media by the assassination of John Lennon.

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06 January 2009
Gilt Groupe: Marc Jacobs, Tim Hamilton, DVF, + Trovata

Anyone who hasn't signed up for the best -- and only, as far as I know -- online, high-end sample sale, do it now!! You can only check out the sales by signing up and you can only sign up with an invitation.

In case you missed the piece I wrote on Gilt Groupe last week, read it here. Normally, I wouldn't write about something again so quickly, but I just got the email announcing the sales this week and they're pretty sick: one of the best I've seen thus far.

Sales already in progress -- remember each sale lasts 36 hours or until items sell out: for the boys, it's Steven Alan and Habitual Jeans. For the girls, it's Marc Jacobs Collection and Bally. There's stuff that's already SOLD OUT, but there's still good stuff to be had. *Note: they move pics of the SOLD OUT items to the bottom, so don't even look down there and you'll never know what you missed.

For Men: Tuesday brings 7 For All Mankind; Wednesday is Trovata; Thursday is Tim Hamilton; and Friday is Hyden Woo and White + Warren Men's

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05 January 2009
PAUL MPAGI SEPUYA. ALEXANDRIA

One of my favorite photographers -- Paul Mpagi Sepuya -- has a show opening at envoy on 01.15.08 entitled Alexandria, Sepuya's second project exploring the artist as subject and an attempt to situate the relationships around him through his practice.

The project is titled for the books of Lawrence Durrell's so-called Alexandria Quartet (1957 – 1961): Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, and Clea. The quartet presents four takes on one love story; that of artist Darley, who is unable to make sense of his experience with Justine in pre-WWII Alexandria, Egypt, amidst the flood of revelations provided by a constellation of lovers and friends, who all are too searching for peace against the backdrop of the romantic, spiritual and social upheavals in which they are involved.

Each fragment of Darley's memory is an image, enveloped, torn, altered. It is a pragmatic process. Reconstructing these images is a tool unlike Sepuya's camera.

Alexandria strips the narrative from the novels and presents enlarged prints of pages of the four books of the Quartet: Justine, Balthazar, Mountolive, and Clea, from the 1961 Penguin Edition.

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05 January 2009
The Maccabees

Have you checked out The Maccabees yet? I was just hunting around for Micah P Hinton songs and came across a video of a live performance of X-Ray that made me want to see these guys live. It's totally infectious, upbeat music and the play really well live.

I thought I'd written about these guys before, but it doesn't look like I have. Amazing how I can go through a phase, love these guy more than anything, and listen to their LP so many times that I burned out before doing an entry. Gotta love it.

The Maccabees are an English indie band, based in Brighton and originally from south London. They have released one album so far, Colour It In, and are currently writing material for the follow-up, which is expected to be release in early 2009.

The band came up with the name by flicking through the Bible and picking out a random word. Despite adopting a name with religious connotations, lead singer Orlando Weeks has more recently affirmed, in an interview on Steve Lamacq's BBC Radio 1 show, that none of the band are religious.

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04 January 2009
The Black List Project + Gilbert & George

If you're anything like me, getting to the Brooklyn Museum can be an ever elusive task. If you want to kill two birds with one stone, thought, now's the time to do it.

I can't recall ever seeing a work by British duo Gilbert & George in person. Perhaps I have in passing, but I don't remember. The huge retrospective of their work currently showing at the museum goes down 01.11.09. It would be a shame to miss it. Even if you don't think you're a fan, if you're an art lover, it's a must-see. Seeing a retrospective on this scale can change the mind of many a naysayer.

The Brooklyn Museum is the final venue of an international tour of the first retrospective in more than twenty years of work by the internationally acclaimed artists Gilbert & George. The exhibition comprises more than eighty pictures created since 1970, among them more than a dozen that are only in the Brooklyn presentation. The exhibition traces their stylistic and emotional evolution through their pictures and art in other media, ranging from charcoal on paper sculpture from the early 1970s to postcard pieces to ephemera dating back to the 1960s.

Read my original entry on the show from September and click here for all the details on the museum's site.

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03 January 2009
Slumdog Millionaire

I'm not sure how big Slumdog Millionaire is currently, but I guarantee within a few months it will be huge.

The rumblings started just after the early November 2008 release of the film. It seems like every other person I talked to had either seen it or heard it was amazing. Despite always wanting to go to the movies, it really takes a lot for me to actually go, although with the slew of amazing films out at the moment, I've forced myself to go see more movies in the past few months than I have in years.

I used my age-old technique of not watching the trailer or reading anything about Slumdog before going to see it. I really don't care what critic A or critic B says. If I like it, I like it. If they don't, they don't. I also don't want to hype the film too much in one direction or another, possibly spoiling something I might have otherwise liked. My verdict: unbelievably film on many, many levels.

I was, though, a little disappointed afterwards when a friend pointed out that Slumdog was directed by Danny Boyle of Trainspotting fame.

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03 January 2009
Micah P Hinson

Thank god for friends. I just got a new batch of music last week and am the proud owner of a new musical obsession: Micah P Hinson.

You know when you hear something and it just works? I'm not even going to try to bother trying to explain, dissect or compare. This guy was just destined to be.

"Life has a strange habit of never exactly going to plan; just when it seems even, life throws a curve ball to put things off balance. Some may call it karma, while others call it luck. Following a turbulent and well documented few years in his late teens, 2004 saw Micah Paul Hinson catapulted from being a skate-kid down on his luck to making one of the year's finest and most critically acclaimed debut albums – The Earlies produced - Micah P. Hinson and the Gospel of Progress (which made numerous Best of 2004 polls including Uncut, The Independent and Time Out) and traveling the world playing with the likes of Iron & Wine, The Earlies, Devendra Banhart, Smog and most recently being invited on tour with KT Tunstall and Richard Hawley."

Read his full Wiki here.

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02 January 2009
Timberland Boot Co + D.A.T.E. + H by Hudson

One of my new favorite shoe (and boot) companies as of late is the Timberland Boot Company. If you've been reading all along, you'll remember my entry on the company in November singing the praises of the company.

Last weekend, I had a chance to see the boots in person at Bloomingdale's in SoHo and was beyond impressed. Their stuff is red hot. If you're in New York, there's a 50% off sale at Bloomindale's now and they have a lot of great stuff.

In addition to the Timberland Boot Company styles, I tried on D.A.T.E. sneakers -- also the first time I've seen them in real life -- and they're really hot too. Unfortunately, they didn't have my size so I have to go to the Midtown store this weekend to get the Sports High in white/green and the Tender High in grey. For $110 (they're normally priced at around $250), how can I say no?

Oak just received new styles from the TBC and, not shockingly, they're hot. See the pics below and check them out on Oak's site.

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02 January 2009
KAISERIN + Exile

The boys at French magazine KAISERIN have teamed up with Berlin's Exile gallery for the latest in a series of residency projects.

Exile opens its third residency project entitled Hors Les Murs (Outside the walls), organized and curated by Arnaud-Pierre Fourtané and Didier Fitan, editors of KAISERIN Magazine tomorrow evening. KAISERIN is an independent bi-annual magazine founded in 2006 that presents the work of renowned and emerging artists, authors, photographers, graphic designers, typographers, illustrators and poets. Hors Les Murs (H.L.M.) is part of a series of exhibitions by the editors.

Each KAISERIN issue centers around one specific theme or title. Hors Les Murs (H.L.M.) celebrates the launch of the fifth issue of KAISERIN, L’Outside. The magazine and the exhibition complement one another with the aim of replacing the walls of a space with the pages of a magazine and vice versa.

With a special feature L’Outside will pay homage to the work of Al Baltrop and, for the very first time, include two color photographs taken on the Piers. A performance by Santiago Reyes will be a special part of the opening. A limited edition by artist Alexandar Todorovic is available during the exhibition.

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01 January 2009
Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

I'm not so sure I'm crazy about the name, but you know about my name hangups! Maybe the name of the much anticipated, soon to be released Phoenix LP will grow on me as the year progresses.

One thing's for sure, I've burned myself out on every track by Phoenix that's been released thus far and have been desperately awaiting the release of something new. Well, the wait is almost over. No word yet on an exact date -- they're being very cryptic about the whole thing, which is good given how quickly things get spoiled online. All they're saying so far is Spring 2009.

Here's a message from one of their managers on the message board:

Hi Everyone,

This is Simon from Coalition Management - I'm one of Phoenix's managers.

Happy New Year and thanks for registering with the forum. There will be a lot of activity during the next few months so please keep coming back and checking the website regularly.

The albums release date it still not set in stone but it should be be around April/May 2009.

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01 January 2009
The Cable Guy

I chose to ring in the new year with a blast from the past. If you know me, you know, except for his sketch comedy in In Living Colour and his performance in Eternal Sunshine, I categorically hate Jim Carrey in everything else. I just don't get it.

While spending a second night in less than two weeks reuniting with what used to be one of my favorite places in the city -- Decibel -- hanging out with an old friend whose taste in music and movies I trust 100%, somehow -- sake has a way of generating some interesting conversations at times -- the topic of Jim Carrey came up. Why? That I don't recall. What I do recall is said friend asking if I'd ever seen The Cable Guy.

At first, I said I must have, but then when I thought about it harder realized I hadn't. He said even if you don't like Jim Carrey, I guarantee you'll like The Cable Guy. Statistically speaking -- this is my new phrase for 2009, you've been warned! -- the chances I'll like a movie he recommends are good, so I put it to the front of the queue on Netflix.

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