Sunday, December 29, 2013

i guess she kept those vagabond ways

Today is the birthday of the legendary Marianne Faithfull, my personal hero. Though lots of names have been thrust upon her -- Miss X, Mick Jagger's moll, the Girl on a Motorcycle, the survivor of rock'n'roll, the Godmother of Punk -- there are not enough words to describe her incredible artistry and spirit. Her story and experiences span many lifetimes, and her recording history and film roles are awe-inducing. A feature I used to do way, way back in DRG history was called "Through the Years," where I'd do a sort of biography of a person through photos and personal quotes. This will be an abbreviated version of that -- just some of my favorite photos of Marianne and her always-incredible quotes, because the only way to appreciate the glory of MF is to revel in her genius. 

"At a time when my life as a grown-up should have begun, I was still very much a child. And everything that has happened to me, it's as if it happened to a child. All my attempts at growing up were really no more than a child's playing make believe."

"One of the hazards of reforming your evil ways is that some people won't let go of their mind's eye of you as a wild thing."

"Maybe the most that you can expect from a relationship that goes bad is to come out of it with a few good songs."

"Between the ages of 17 and 19 I shed any number of old lives and grew new ones overnight without them seeming quite real to me; I discarded them as cavalierly as a child who moves from one game to another. Pursued in interest, any one of these might have led to a reasonably happy life. But then again, I wasn't interested in happiness. I was looking for the Holy Grail."

"The sixties was a great motley cast of characters in an ongoing operetta with multi-hued costumes to match. What I remember most is how beautiful everybody was, and, of course, the beautiful clothes: we dressed up like medieval damsels and princes, pre-Raphaelite Madonnas, popes, hussars, mad hatters and creatures visiting from other planets."

"They asked me to star in a Mars Bar ad. I told them to fuck off." 

"Suicidal urges come out like commands. It's not like any other urge, like I'd like a pizza."

"The voice of God, if you must know, is Aretha Franklin's."

"We lived these lives a thousand years ago as courtesans, as opium-eaters at the court of the Kubla Khan. We had drunk of the milk of Paradise and its transforming liquidity made us all quite porous. There were no boundaries where Alph the sacred river ran. No genders, no time and space. We simply sparkled and vibrated. We were all pulsating little Bodhisattvas. I was in love with everybody. Actually, I was everybody."

"I never trusted anybody at all. I don't know why it was so hard, I just didn't."

"I think drugs were used by me as a way of suppressing my natural spirit."

"Never apologize, never explain -- didn't we always say that? Well, I haven't and I don't."

Title: from "Vagabond Ways" (Marianne Faithfull)

Friday, December 20, 2013

DRG Holiday Wish List

Can anyone believe how fast this past year has gone by? It's astounding to me that in less than two weeks 2013 will be over. December is always a massive blur to me -- as a December baby (and a child of two Sags as well), the month is a nonstop train of birthday wishes and holiday parties. But still, what a wonderful, wonderful time of year! Though many people dread the process of finding gifts for people -- and yes, I do agree it is an oftentimes impossible task to find the perfect thing for someone! -- I love the hunt. Giving someone something that is so fantastically bizarre or genuinely on-point to their personality is seriously the BEST THING! As much as I adore giving serious gifts, I love having someone unwrap a gift and being completely bewildered by its seeming randomness. (Quite honestly, everything I buy people is rooted in something we've either discussed in depth or in passing -- it's never entirely random!) 
During the holiday shopping process to find perfect gifts for everyone I know, I inevitably ending up mentally shopping for myself in equal measure. I've compiled a list of goodies that I wouldn't mind Santa (or anyone else, wink wink!) putting under the tree this year. Here are my top ten obsessions (clockwise from the top left):
What can I say about Groupie Couture? I am so, SO fond of Miss Pamela's line! I've ordered from it several times and I am always struck by the love and care that so obviously goes into every aspect of the GC experience: the design, the packaging, the lovely little notes that come attached! I have two of the beaded necklaces and I swear that some groupie magic is in these beads because I always have the most magical musical luck when I wear them. This boa is the most fantastically fun addition that I NEED for my wardrobe. 
I am so jealous of the girls who model for the site -- tell me, what can I do to become a GC doll?! 

No offense to the other Zodiac signs, but I am oh so glad to be a Sagittarius -- as Keith Richards rightly put it, we're half-man, half-horse, with a license to shit in the streets. But even just from a visual standpoint, Sags are pretty awesome. The Wild Unknown always offers the MOST beautiful designs (I have their tarot deck and each card is a work of art), and I inevitably want every single thing they come out with. Seriously, I scroll through their Instagram page daily for design inspiration and I can already envisioned this Zodiac work framed in my apartment. 

This Etsy design duo has been on my radar for quite a while -- their handmade velvet bell bottoms are the best I've seen by any designer, period. Unlike other takes on the design, they don't skimp on the bell part of the bottom, making each step look assuredly dramatic and dreamily 70s. My new mission is to accumulate every single piece on their site, but of course I want to start with every variation on their incredible Hells Bells!

4. Pamela Love Pentagram Ring and Serpent Ring
I can never get enough of Pamela Love's fabulous designs -- they're so layered in different cultural traditions and histories, they transcend the realm of fashionable accessories and become works of art (and in that regard, I am VERY HAPPILY a museum to PL's art). Both rings are intricately detailed and packed with meaning. Of the Pentagram ring, Love's site explains, "the circle symbolizes eternity, the cycles of life and nature. The circle touching all 5 points indicates that the spirit, earth, air, water and fire are all connected." How lovely! And I have a bit of a collection of snake jewelry that I've accumulated over the years, so I need to add this rattlesnake piece pronto. 

Obviously, this bag -- which retails for over one thousand dollars -- is a MAJOR wishlist item, but if Santa feels particularly generous, I certainly wouldn't object. The bullet bag has long been my favorite shape for its versatility (it can be worn as a crossbody purse, an oversized wristlet or backpack!), and I love the Egyptian symbology that adorns the base of this braided leather bag. 

My reading list is a neverending queue of books that I can never hope to accomplish in my lifetime, but currently at the top of that list is this splendid new release from Taschen. The book details the legendary relationship of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, a duo notorious the world over and legendary in the decades since they parted ways. Though photographers detailed every aspect of their relationship, it was rarely as intimate as this. Jane's brother Andrew photographed the couple in private times, capturing moments when they were a loving family in addition to musical hellraisers and artists. A really astounding portrait of two people we thought we knew everything about. 

When I look at this dress, I envision myself spinning in circles, Stevie Nicks style! The mix of tassels, lace and all other goodness is a hippie dream. 

I've been eyeing this for quite a while and this weekend I finally bought it for myself as a little birthday present. The scent is incredible -- composed of incense, Turkish rose and pencil shavings. I wouldn't mind receiving a few for Christmas and stocking up on what I'm sure will be my new signature scent!

Ever since doing a post on Karen Umphrey and including her note about her "super spacey" look on the cover of Star Magazine, I've been wanting to have something super shiny and metallic all my own! I love this because it can be worn as a daring maxi skirt with a slit up the side, or worn with a slip underneath and belted as a strapless dress. Something versatile and positively va-va-voom? Yes please!

Child of Wild is a recent discovery of mine -- and everything on their site is perfection! Sourced from all over the world, the site offers the MOST incredible selection of jewelry, headpieces and home goods such as wooden boxes, jewel-encrusted skulls and this colorful cotton blanket. For the past few months, I've been decorating my first real adult apartment and been on the lookout for incredible things to decorate it with. This blanket will be the perfect addition!

These are my top holiday wishes -- so if Santa is out there, please put these under my tree this December 25th! What is on the top of your holiday wish list? 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Shop It to Me: John Bonham, Unlikely Fashionista

On the short list of things John Bonham was known for, ‘style icon’ doesn’t usually come to mind. Master drummer, champion drinker, seafood enthusiast (ALLEGEDLY), possessor of a cool nickname, yeah, but he’s not really known for his style. Even within Led Zeppelin, eyes were usually on Jimmy Page’s astral-occult outfits and Robert Plant’s golden mane and chest-baring floral blouses.
But I am really into this outfit he wore to his 24th birthday party at the legendary Rainbow Bar & Grill (even though it’s credited in some places as being the English Disco, my trusted sources (aka anonymous people on the internet) say that it’s the Rainbow Bar). According to my calculations – which entailed me taking the year of his birth (1948) and adding 24 to it – the year is 1972, so of course Lori Maddox is on his arm. She was with Jimmy then, but much like the unanswerable question of a tree in the woods, if Led Zeppelin was in L.A. in ’72 and Lori Lightning wasn’t around, were they actually even there?
It’s a rather basic outfit, but he makes it look SO COOL. I looked around at a couple of my favorite online destinations to recreate this birthday suit (bad pun!):
Start with a basic striped tank top, like this unisex tank from American Apparel. Add a pair of your comfiest, most broken-in jeans and tuck the tank in and top with a belt. At this point, I know you all are rolling your eyes because I’m basically describing the least creative outfit in the history of existence. Hey, here’s an idea everyone: wear a shirt AND pants! It’s fashion! C’est magnifique!
But be quiet, folks! It’s about to get interesting. Bonzo jazzes these wardrobe staples up a bit with a velvet blazer. I am fond of any use of velvet, but I was particularly struck by this crushed velvet number from Nasty Gal. He is also wearing a killer wide brim hat, and manages to wear it at night and indoors without looking like a fool – it’s quite a feat. I wish more people wore hats. It would make the world a bit hipper.
To up his awesome factor to OFF THE CHARTS, he ties on a neckerchief. I wholeheartedly support this, because I don’t understand why neckerchiefs ever fell out of fashion – seriously, why isn’t everyone wearing one everyday? NECKERCHIEFS ARE SEXY. Any square of fabric – from a Levi’s bandana to an Hermรจs silk scarf – will do, but I found this black one for super cheap. And it’s on Amazon, so if you Amazon Prime that shizz then you’ll have a groovy throat-cover for less than $15!
I couldn’t find any photos that included what kind of shoes he was wearing, but I assume because he was a boy that his shoes were boring. So instead of suggesting you wear a pair of black boots or whatever he was probably wearing, I suggest something SPARKLY like these fancy ankle boots from Free People – I like these because the metallic is a bit cracked and imperfect, so they don’t look too precious.
There you go – the coolest, chillest outfit you’ll ever wear. And we’ve got Bonzo to thank, who woulda thunk it?!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

have you seen her all in gold, like a queen in days of old, she shoots colors all around, like a sunset going down

I’ve been reading through all the issues of the 1973 groupie-themed publication Star Magazine (infinite thanks to the divine creature who runs for sharing their wealth of groupieness!), and keep finding myself time and again being caught by the loveliness of Karen Umphrey, a model favorite of the magazine. I’ve seen several photos of her around before, all big doe eyes and her curly platinum hair forming a halo around her, and always absolutely killer glam rock girl outfits. Even though she wasn’t a groupie per se, she was definitely part of the milieu of baby groupies that ruled the Sunset Strip in the early 70s. There are photos of her quite literally kicking up her heels while surrounded by the likes of Lori, Sable and Queenie, but it seems that Karen was simply friends with them and didn’t indulge in their groupie antics. Not much about her life beyond her time at a teen model is readily found, but for a while she dominated the pages of Star, Teen and other glammy youngster mags. Karen was a covergirl on the third and fifth (and final) issues of Star. In the latter edition, she was one of several Star It Girls including Lori Maddox (listed as ‘Laurie Mattix’ – I’ll never understand why there are so many variations of her name out there!) and Shray Mecham to offer beauty and style advice in the section “Beauty and the Fox.” When asked by a reader how she puts together her signature look, she offers delightfully sweet and fun advice:

“I call this month’s cover outfit [lower left corner of the above collage] my super spacey look! I used makeup that compliments the gold lame jacket I have (from Hollywood’s Granny Takes A Trip Boutique). The jacket shines with sparkly dazzling light so I wear makeup that reflects it and makes my face glow. But the real excitement of this look comes from co-ordinating my makeup with my outfit. Blonde hair, of course, looks especially foxy with silver or gold. My hair is naturally light and always kinky after I wash it. So I brush it out with a blow dryer, then pincurl it. As far as makeup goes, I use a bronzish-beige sheen gel foundation and apply a beige-pink blusher below my cheekbones to highlight them. Then I apply bronze-maroon lipstick which sort of accents my foundation color. As for my eyes I don’t wear any mascara with this outfit because black or dark harsh lines destroy that shiny soft effect. I just apply silvery-blue shadow on my lids and let it radiate from the corner of my eyes to my eyebrows for a spacey, bizarre look. Then I smudge a smidgen of eyeshadow under my bottom lashes to bring out my baby blues. For a real touch of makeup fun, I’ll put a silver star beauty mark on my cheek (like a 40’s strumpet)! The lame jacket has a gemmed pin on the lapel just to throw some more razzle-dazzle into it, and I love to wear silver rings and a hand-crafted gold lion head belt that fastens low on my hips. To top it off, a multi-colored hand-crocheted micro-mini. Just to make the outfit casual instead of ritzy vogue formal, I sling a striped Indian scarf around my neck, and let it all hang loose!”

I know that her quote was lengthy, but I had to include all of it. It’s so absolutely darling and obviously her outfit is kind of incredible so in-depth style advice is always appreciated. And she uses words like ‘foxy’ and ‘strumpet’! How wonderful is that?! She’s totally the kind of girl I would’ve been obsessed with if I was a young teen in the early 1970s. Actually, if I’m being honest, I still really super dig her and I’m twenty-two in the 21st century.

Title: from "She's A Rainbow" (The Rolling Stones)

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cinemaspiration: When Harry Met Sally...

I've been thinking a lot about Billy Crystal lately. I'm not really sure why (other than that he's Billy Crystal and amazing and there doesn't need to be a reason for it), but in the past few weeks I have listened to his Nerdist podcast three times, read his memoir and watched a handful of his films pretty much on loop. (My Thanksgiving holiday consisted of watching The Princess Bride approximately eleven times.) 
I watched When Harry Met Sally… while in the airport waiting to take a flight to see my family for Thanksgiving, and it was such a funny experience. Multiple women (and one brave teenage boy) came up to me to tell me how much they loved the movie. Honestly, after the third time I was tempted to tell them I too loved the movie hence why I wanted to watch it UNINTERRUPTED, but I didn’t. (Manners!)
I’ve never had that experience where strangers feel compelled to tell me they are as into something as I am, especially in New York where in my experience people think you’re unhinged if you dare smile at them on the subway, but I guess that speaks to the how beloved the film is. It’s not really a secret that When Harry Met Sally… is a super well-loved film, but I had never witnessed the cultural obsession surrounding the film beyond the realms of IMDB. I guess that would be because the film is a rare romantic comedy, in that it is actually both romantic and genuinely funny. Not only that, but the debate over ‘can men and women ever really be friends?’ still continues today.
But since I am supremely superficial, when I watch this film I think less about the nature of male-female relationships as I do about how cute Meg Ryan is and how much I wish I could find a t-shirt that says ‘Don’t Fuck With Mr. Zero.’
About halfway through the film, the duo spend the day walking through parks and galleries talking about everything from sexual fantasies to being proud to partake in pecan pie. Harry and Sally are close friends at this point (though, interestingly, in his Nerdist podcast, Billy said that the bit where they talk in funny accents was supposed to show Harry falling for Sally already and developing a funny voice in order to make her laugh. I don’t know, I thought that was really interesting and cool), and Sally tells him that she has a date that night. Harry implies that she shouldn’t wear that outfit on her date and that she should wear a skirt – a comment I suppose meant to imply to the viewer that they’re starting to be interested in each other, but made me go ‘SHUT UP HARRY!’ Not only because Sally is a LADY who can wear whatever she wants, but her outfit is really awesome. A patterned wool sweater, high-waisted trousers, an awesome hat and a snazzy blazer with shoulder-pads? Yes please! I would wear that outfit everyday.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

tangerine, tangerine, living reflections from a dream

After having the pleasure of getting to know her through various email conversations and looking through her work, I've decided that Ash King is my cosmic soulmate. She is so incredibly insightful about all things relating to music -- from embracing the flames of inspiration to create music to offering profoundly true commentary about the current state of and history of rock 'n' roll. (Please check out my interview with Ash here and become just as obsessed as I am!) In her new show, Ash created a character Wild Delilah, a combination of all the strong female figures throughout rock history (think Janis, Marianne, Stevie and the like), but it's evident that Ash herself is a force to be reckoned with. In honor of Ash's brilliant new show Coke & Sympathy: A Rock & Roll Cabaret, I've compiled some of my favorite images of the incredible female muses and musicians who have shaped rock music.  

Linda Eastman McCartney, rock photographer-turned-musician 

Anita 'the Sixth Stone' Pallenberg -- how does she always look so bewitching and enigmatic?

Jane Birkin

The GTOs, as photographed by Baron Wolman

The impossibly lovely Bebe Buell

Debbie Harry, looking heaven-sent

Gamine flower child Gail Zappa

Mama Michelle Phillips is one of the most notorious muses and is known for her captivating spirit -- read her Vanity Fair profile from a few back to learn more about her charm

Muse/musician/artist/activist Yoko Ono is always a controversial subject of discussion, but there is no denying her impact on music, culture and society at large

Dream goddess Stevie Nicks

The GTOs in the studio with Zappa

Leave it to Bianca Jagger to make a backstage pass look even cooler than it already is

Marianne Faithfull is joined by David Bowie for their infamous performance of "I've Got You Babe"

Two of the most important muses of the twentieth century, Sara Dylan and Pattie Boyd, chat at Isle of Wight (anyone else impossibly curious as to what they're talking about?)

Title: from "Tangerine" (Led Zeppelin)

Interview: Ash King, Coke & Sympathy: A Rock & Roll Cabaret

Over the past few months, I've had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Ash King, a talented musician, a cosmic goddess and one of the loveliest humans I've ever met (well, we've only ever met online, but e-meetings still count in my book!) Born in Sydney and raised on rock bands like Motley Crue, INXS and The Doors, Ash always was interested in music and musical theatre, though she describes an early teenage experience at a Queen tribute show to be her "musical epiphany." She gets to do what we all wish we could do, describing her career as a full-time musician as such: "[I] get to sing Rolling Stones and Queen songs for a living, and I'm also starting up an originals bands, working on some new blues rock tracks." 
One of Ash's many projects is her incredible Coke & Sympathy: A Rock & Roll Cabaret, a musical story about a groupie goddess by the name of Wild Delilah that weaves together personal experiences, myths and legends in rock history as well as meditations on the nature of women in the music scene. I had a lovely conversation with Ash about her groovy self, the inspiration for her show and the state of all things groupie, fashion and rock 'n' roll. Please check all the glorious things she had to say and get to know this inspiring woman!

What was the genesis behind your project, Coke & Sympathy? What this something that you had always dreamed of doing? What inspired you to do the show? 

A friend of mine actually suggested I put on a cabaret. I'd never really seen a great deal of it and didn't think it was my bag, but he insisted "No, you should do a rock & roll cabaret." I thought it could be a fun idea - fusing the intimate, raconteur-ish nature of cabaret, with the intensity and energy of rock music. Then last year I was terribly silly and went and fell in love with a rock guitarist and it was all a complete disaster. What better way to heal a broken heart than to talk about it in front of a room of strangers!

Tell us a bit about your character, Wild Delilah -- what qualities from different women of the 60s and 70s can be found in her?
Wild Delilah is a combination of myself and a few of my favourite female characters from rock history. Glimpses of female music artists like Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks and Joni Mitchell can be seen in Wild Delilah, as well as famous rock & roll muses like Patti Boyd, Bebe Buell & Pamela Des Barres. Wild Delilah's main dilemma is that she doesn't want to get stuck being the girl who inspires, and instead wants to be inspired herself. She wants to create. But now she's gone and fallen in love with an egotistical guitarist - so she's kind of stuck between rock & a hard place!     

Like you, I am fascinated and troubled by the roles that women in the rock scene (particularly of the heady 60s & 70s, but it’s definitely still an issue today) are forced into: it seems that largely women were (and still often are) described in relation to male musicians, and have the ‘groupie’ tag thrust upon them. Groupie gals are undeniably fabulous, but it’s frustrating when musicians like Marianne and Joni are overlooked for their musical contributions and are called ‘groupies’ because they dated musicians as well. It seems easier for this male-dominated history to condense a woman from describing her many talents, professions and interests into just who she hung around with. (It’s heartbreaking how time and time again, I’ve read articles about Anita that make no mention of her modeling, acting or design career – just saying she was a German girl who slept with three Rolling Stones and had a drug habit.) What is your personal insight into this issue, as a lover of rock and as an artist herself? Do you see a solution?
Great question! I do agree rock history often highlights the presence of women as mere symbols of men's physical, emotional and creative stimulation but rarely as artists in their own right. Women are needed to create the perfect picture of this ultimate rock star lifestyle, but here they only exist as ornamentation. They aren't supposed to create, they're supposed to stand at the side of the stage and look pretty. And the women who really fight against these conceptions, the women to whom creating art is their sole objective, often seem to de-femnise themselves to a certain extent so that they aren't subject to comparison with the vapid beauties of the rock & roll scene (think of Janis Joplin and Patti Smith). I think because rock is, at its core, a man's game, it will be a struggle for any woman to really get the respect and consideration she deserves as an artist first and foremost, but this by no means says women should stop creating. On the contrary. If more women stand up for their own place to exist and thrive in the rock & roll world hopefully we can start dismantling some of these not-so-groovy attitudes.

On a related note, I think we have similar feelings in regards to the state of the term ‘groupie’ in general. The way that it was used back in the days of Miss Pamela and the GTOs is far different from the connotations people award it now. Do you believe there is a difference in groupie behavior from the 60s and today, or is it more to do with a difference between how society looks at this behavior? Do you buy into the taboo of the groupie label?
I think the "groupie" label has mutated quite drastically to what it meant in the 60s, and now seems to be a very accusatory term. We've moved on from the trendy free-love attitude of the swinging sixties, and being a modern-day groupie is kind of shameful. The groupie culture is still as present as ever, but now exists in a kind of strange, unsettling place where we don't know if the women part of it are just glorified sex dolls, desperate fame mongers, or sinister symbols of women's self-promoted servitude. But there has to be a differentiating term between the women who are there just to get their rocks off and the ones who are there because of the music. I've always liked Penny Lane's description from Almost Famous: "We're not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We're here because of the music. We inspire the music. We are Band-Aides." 

I love the title of your show (I am a complete Rolling Stones nut!) – I am curious to know who your musical influences are and who your favorite musicians are.
Obviously a massive Stones fan. Queen will always be my favourite band of all time, so I bow at the alter of Freddie Mercury. But I also love The Beatles (aside from Paul McCarntey, who I am bound to dislike, being an avid Lennon supporter), Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith. Early Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green I adore. And I'm a huge sucker for Billy Joel. I have all his records and think he's an incredibly talented musician and performer. 

Your show offers your own re-workings of legendary tracks by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Fleetwood Mac – how did you go about that process? Did you find it daunting to give your own take on these works?
It's actually easier than you think, because just through the process of me and my band performing the tracks, they seem to take on a life of their own. Also, a few of the tunes we're doing have been covered a million times over, so we get to sift through the wreckage, see what worked and what didn't, and use it in our own interpretations. We're also unleashing an original in the show too.

Part of your show addresses long-standing rumors and reveals lesser-known stories from rock history. Did any legend or discovery surprise you while your were doing research into this?
I've always been a big fat rock trivia nerd. There's always so much to learn and so many rock myths to debunk. Have you heard the Led Zeppelin mud shark incident? Apparently the band were staying at Edgewater Inn in Seattle, which let guests fish directly from the hotel room windows. A mud shark was fished out and then "inserted" into a red-headed groupie who was naked and tied to the bed. No one can prove this actually happened, but wow. I'll never watch Jaws the same way again. 

Who are your favorite muses and why? Why do you think the legends of these wonderful women live on?
You know, I think my favourite muse would have to be Yoko Ono. She was an artist, committed to pushing boundaries, and she helped take John Lennon's mind and craft to fantastic new places. Of course I love the delicate and feminine beauties like Marianne Faithfull and Patti Boyd, but Yoko wasn't young and thin and glamourous. She didn't exist in that world. And she still inspired one of the greatest musicians of all time. She got "She's So Heavy" written about her. And she'll live on in the lyrics of Lennon as well as the history books as a credit to her own work in the contemporary art world. And she's still going, into her 70s. We can all learn a thing or two from Yoko.

I am very sensitive to how peoples’ personal styles often communicate so much about their internal interests and passions, so I have to ask some fashion-y questions. What is your style philosophy? What are your style must-haves?
I like to think I'm what happens if Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett and Deb Harry all got together and had fashion babies. I love very feminine flowy robes and skirts, I have lots of velvet, silk and lace kimonos and shawls. But I also love the grungier side of leather and latex, faded denims, big black platform heels and lots of antique jewellery. A lot of my wardrobe is vintage and hand-me-downs from my mum who used to be in a band back in the 80s. But I love my black American Apparel disco pants and am a slave to the band tee (I have over 100!)

Who / where do you look to for inspiration (in music, in fashion, in life)?
I try to be open to finding inspiration anywhere and everywhere. I definitely read a lot, and see a lot of live music and theatre. In terms of music and fashion inspiration - classic rock of the 60s & 70s is definitely my go to era, the sounds and styles that were born in that time I still don't think have been surpassed.

How can people get involved with Coke & Sympathy? Where can they come see the show? And most importantly for me, please tell me you’ll come to the States!
You can follow the show on Facebook here. If you're in Australia, you can see the premiere shows at Red Bennies in Melbourne on Thurs 21st Nov, and The Vanguard in Sydney on Wed 27th Nov. We'll also be doing a few shows at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2014, on March 11, 12, 13. We're waiting for a few funding opportunities to come through, but would love to bring the show to the US & the UK at a later date. So fingers crossed!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

On Lou Reed

It always troubles me that after the death of a notable person, there is a flood of articles on social media about them offering countless variations on every aspect of their lives. Some are in honest tribute, yes, but more often than not these pieces are in an effort to capitalize on someone’s passing for website hits and SEO and whatnot. Despite my hesitation, and the fact I haven’t written on DRG for a while, I couldn’t not write something. (Even though it doesn’t matter to anyone other than myself.)
I’m not going to try and sum of the life or legacy of one of the most genius musicians of all time, because I think we all are well aware of his influence. Lou Reed was a rare creature in a sea of really talented people who created music that operated on a whole different wavelength. It wasn’t just great to listen to – his words ate away at something deep inside you that might not have even been aware was there. Everyone I’ve spoken to about Lou and the Velvet Underground always talks about this deep cosmic connection they felt like they forged with him in his music. Lou created music for the misfits, the outcasts, the kids who hated their classmates as much as they hated themselves, the struggling artists, the geniuses both unaware and painfully aware of their talents, the fuck-ups, the bums, the ones who lived for the nighttime, who wore their sunglasses at indoors, who created the scene. The ones who thirsted for more at every opportunity, and never, never settled. The best kinds of people.

The song “Heroin” changed my life. I was barely a teenager when I found a copy of The Velvet Underground & Nico, and when this song began to play I saw my future clearly, but in a way that wasn’t clear at all: “I don’t know just where I’m going / But I’m gonna try for the kingdom if I can.”

Here’s to Lou, who finally reached the kingdom. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

In Which George Harrison Illustrates My Life Troubles

During the past two weeks that I have been absent from my blog, all the retro goodness I love was never far from my mind. I've been dealing with lots of personal dramas and delights, experiencing a full range of emotions I cannot properly articulate. To illustrate my saga, I turn to my treasure trove (i.e. folder on my desktop) I have collected over the years of expressions George Harrison made. My love for George is well-documented on this site, but I've barely touched upon my obsession with his animated looks. Sure, he was the Quiet One, but the expressions on his face always spoke volumes. This is my ordeal in unnecessary length, but if you enjoy George Harrison and silliness, just scroll through for pictures! (That's what I would do!)

At the start of my saga, I was bumming around my apartment, doing all sorts of things while halfheartedly contemplating my future: 
I was bettering my mind. 
Books. 'Cause literacy, you know?

I was chilling with my homies ... and my gnomies.
Is it me, or are all of the garden gnomes sculpted in very 'draw me like one of your French girls' positions?

But mostly I was just laying around in bed. 

Then, it all got crazy! After deciding to move to New York City in a month's time, I started to try to get plans in order and think about what I could do when I was there. 
Thinking serious thoughts.

It was during this time that I LOST my Dolly Rocker Girl domain (this here site!) and had to go through lots to get it back in my possession. 

This quest led me to realize my email account was hacked and I had to regain access to that, during which I found out my actual computer had been hacked into as well, forcing me to surrender my laptop to the computer tech wizards (and causing me to experience a wide range of negative emotions). 

Following that, I prepared for my third big move of the summer to a new apartment (not to New York quite yet) and did not have internet for several days because of an annoying misunderstanding with the internet company. 
"Hmmm.... Well that doesn't seem quite right," I said to myself while perfecting my Internet meme-inspired 'derp' face.

This was alright because I've been attempting to get everything in order for my move to NYC in exactly one week, so I haven't had time to blog ... but still, I was not amused. 
Do not mess with me. 

On top of that, I had a particularly traumatic hair emergency. ('Sup.)

I thrive in pressure in academic and professional senses, but I don't do well with stress in my personal life. Probably because most of my personal stresses are all just SO dumb and rather unimportant. It seems, at the moment at least, that the storm of stress is calming down for me -- at least, until I move next Wednesday. 
Oh goody, this is moustache-twirling good news!

Glorious news!


And that, in unnecessary length, is why I haven't blogged in a while.