Eating lace every day will help you live longer

Model: Dita. Designer: Gaultier. Photographer: Perou.

I love lace! I love it so much. I believe that people who wear lace tell less lies, cars with airbrushed lace patterns on them are less likely to break down, and that the first nation to put a lace pattern on its flag will come to rule the world. Here are my five favorite lace things du jour:

Communist Gothic

By the way of Mister Kris Ether, a collection of jaw-dropping Yakov Chernikov drawings. Doesn’t this one resemble a rocket, ready for takeoff? Yes, this is my future, tovarish Chernikov. Thank you.

From the funny writeup on Dark Roasted Blend: “Only too appropriate for the “Evil Empire”, the colossal palaces and Pantheons would dominate the city, squash the last vestiges of soul, and yet strangely excite in their surreal dark presence.

What made you weird?

For many of us there is an event, a circumstance or a series of both that altered us in a specific way, making us strange, odd, whatever you want to call it enough to seek lives less ordinary. It’s different for everyone – Nadya, for instance, was inspired in part by Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation video’s military look and overall stompiness. For there were several components and so I present you a partial list of What Made Me Weird.

My Parents

Let’s get this one out of the way. I’ll narrow this down to just a couple of things, though I have much to thank them for. They took time to expose me to theaters and museums since a very early age, despite the social state of ’80s Russia and our modest finances. I grew up surrounded by literature and read things like Spartacus and Dandelion Wine. With my parents’ busy schedules I was often left home alone to rummage through my mother’s numerous art books and my father’s hefty collection of science fiction. Soon I realized I preferred to spend time by myself, not making me the best candidate for schoolyard popularity.

Yep. Grace Jones Has Still Got It.

Oh, this face, this voice…

Grace Jones, “I’ve Seen That Face Before”

As far as I’m concerned, Grace Jones was the It Girl of the 80s. Her partnerships with Jean-Paul Goude and Keith Haring yielded some of the most iconic, otherworldly images of the decade.

photo by Jean-Paul Goude

She was valorous, donning multiple personas that confronted racial and sexual stereotypes, her “jungle cat” performances lampooning primitivist readings of the black female body in much the same way Josephine Baker‘s send-ups in banana/tusk skirts had half a century earlier. She played a mean accordion, rocked a buzz cut like no other, was witty and elegant, but did not hesitate to smack a bitch when the occasion called for it.

Janet Jackson is some hot rivet shit

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as industrial music when I stumbled onto Janet’s Rhythm Nation 1814 film in my pre-teens, but I knew that I’d made a very important discovery. Later there would be the mix tapes and the radio shows that exposed me to my favorite music in its true form, but until then, isolated in suburbia and still learning English, Janet’s video was my first glimpse into the aesthetics of my favorite musical genre.

Having re-watched Rhythm Nation today, I have come to a very important conclusion: Janet Jackson is even more ÜBER than I initially thought. Here’s why:

  1. The uniforms! God, the uniforms. Those gloves with the riveted metallic plates? Hot.
  2. “We are a nation with no geographic boundaries, bound together by our beliefs.” NSK State, anyone? Laibach, take note: Janet beat you to it by 4 years.
  3. The precise, mechanical dancing that looks like military formations puts the type of industrial dancing that you see at today’s clubs to shame.
  4. The entire clip takes place in a steamy factory that recalls Test Dept’s Total State Machine.
  5. Despite the strong percussion and electronic elements, I’d be pushing it if I claimed that this awesome song was industrial. But you know what? Janet created this socially-conscious record on her terms, in the face of a record company pressuring her to only sing about love and relationships. Who knows what this could have been, had there not been that pressure at all?

Top 5 Alt Photo Cliches We Could Do Without

Let the countdown begin!

Model: Licky Roxxx
Photographer: Rockee Lixxx

Children, you already know what eating too much candy does to your teeth, but do you know what snorting it does to your brain? It turns you into a fan of Jeffree Star’s music! So stay away from the stuff. It’s lethal. Try snorting peas and carrots instead.

Bethalynne Bajema

Artist/writer Bajema has been one of my biggest inspirations over the years. It’s through Beth’s work that I first “met” Coilhouse co-writer Zoe some five years ago by following a link from Bajema’s wistful images make me feel as though the world is still full of secrets, and a lot of the images hint at the idea of a hidden mystical order. The sensual titles of her work enhance the sense of longing evoked by her images – Saturnine, The Angel Balm, Insects and Angels, & Snapdragon Tea are just a few examples. Her site is currently going through a majer overhaul so it’s down, but she’s recently uploaded much of her older work to her MySpace page. Even though the graphics are small, they are still lush and it’s great to see them all together. Can’t wait until you get your site up, Beth.

Brenda Dickson “Welcome to My Home”

Well, hello! While we’re all waiting for the next installment of What’s Zo Wearing to appear here on Coilhouse, I thought I’d treat you to some fashion tips coming from a real pro: Brenda Dickson, whose claim to fame is starring in the soap opera “The Young and the Restless”. If you watch this video, then you too can be beautiful, glamorous and stylish like her. So let’s “teleport” into her closet and take a look!

Feeling fab yet? Here’s Part 2, dubbed over with fucking Dada raunch genius by Deven Green. “I just tattooed this cat this morning. Look at the good I do. Get the hell out of here. I’m a pirate.”

Hideaki Anno’s Ritual

Hideaki Anno is still best known for Evangelion, but of no less significance is his gorgeous live action film “Ritual”. Unknown to me at the time of viewing, Ritual is based on a novel written by the female lead Ayako Fujitani – Japanese daugher of Steven Segal, and the Director is played by an actual indie director Shunji Iwai. The cinematography is absolutely jaw-dropping, and the plot is wonderful as well. While some of the film’s trailers seem to have marketed it as a horror film, this is not the case at all. Instead, Ritual explores human nuance.

After a chance meeting a jaded filmmaker finds inspiration as he documents a strange girl who dresses up in costumes, paints her face, calls every tomorrow her birthday and lives alone in a huge abandoned warehouse she’s made her world. He communicates with her through his video camera, drawn slowly into her psyche and her fantasy life. Without giving away too much, I propose you stay away from too much research and reviews, and see this film with fresh eyes, as I did.

A few more stills and the only decent video-clip I could find, after the jump.

Judy Dunaway: Amplified Pneumatic Squeakitude

Mother of Balloon Music by Judy Dunaway

Initially, exposure to composer/performer Judy Dunaway and her “virtuostic balloon-playing” broke my brain. But after the giggle fit subsided, I realized I was genuinely in awe of the woman, for many of the same reasons I’ve long adored Harry Partch, Hans Reichel, Clara Rockmore, and Klaus Nomi. Like them, Dunaway is utterly fearless in her approach to her craft, and unflinching in the face of inevitable backlash from both her classical and avante-garde contemporaries. (It takes ovaries of steel to play Lincoln Center with nothing but an amplified balloon between your knees, ah tell you whut.)

Her Etudes No.1 and 2 for Balloon and Violin (2004) are particular favorites of mine, perhaps because they’re what my own stuffy classical violin instructor would undoubtedly have dismissed as “good musicans behaving unforgivably.” I’m at a loss to accurately describe the music… imagine what an orgy of parasitic wasps being slowly pressed to death between two lubricated sheets of mylar might sound like. New York Press writer Kenneth Goldsmith likened Dunaway’s live performances to witnessing “Cab Calloway in Munchkinland… Olivier Messiaen on helium.”

Dunaway’s own statement of purpose is more straightforward:

My own work … does not come out of a void. Creating a large body of work for balloons has allowed me to develop a vocabulary outside the realm of oppressive classical heritage. It has raised the ordinary and mundane to the status of high art. I have fetishized this simple cheap toy in my music, as the violin has been fetishized for centuries by Western European-influenced composers. In an era where the progress toward a woman’s control of her own body is threatened, I have coupled myself to a musical instrument that expresses sensuality, sexuality and humanity without inhibition.

Hooo wee! You go, girl!

Kudos to Brian V. for reminding me of her!