by Andrew Mundy | W. Coast Editor
Just about everyone has seen Rick Genest, the real life zombie of ink and flesh. Seriously, he’s a viral web sensation and, more recently, a fashion runway phenomenon. He’s even in Lady Gaga’s latest music video “Born This Way.” Who is this guy and, honestly, what exactly is going on here? Did he plan all of this, or is this guy just fucking nuts?
Rick Genest, or Rico, was a typical gutter punk from Montreal. Apparently a sweet boy, according to his mother, Rico left home after high school and waited to get his first tattoo until he was 16 out of respect for his parents. How darling.
His first step to extreme zombie makeover started with his hands. Like skeletal gloves, just a tad bit more permanent.
“They say that once you get your hands tattooed it’s harder to find a job,” Rico, now 25, said in an interview with Bizarre Magazine.
Yeah, no shit Rico. Those permanent skeletal gloves ignited a $15,000 frenzy of constant tattoos funded by a job working in the circus while homeless. Times were tough for Rico, but this truly was his passion.
“They’ve been a part of me forever – before I even got them done. They reveal how I feel on the inside,” he said.
Nicola Formichetti, the new creative director of Mugler, apparently discovered a photo of Rico on Google and was intrigued by the inked anomaly. When Formichetti went in for his first tattoo, he was told that the guy in the photo was actually Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy from Montreal. Suddenly inspired by the revelation, he went home later that day and actually contacted Zombie Boy through Facebook.
When asked if he’d like to go to Paris for Mugler’s fashion run, Zombie Boy responded, “Yeah, sure, I would love to, but I don’t have a passport.” Not to mention Rico racked up tens of thousands of dollars in fines for sleeping on the street while homeless.
Beyond frustrated, Formichetti contacted his lawyers to figure out how to get his new biffle a passport in time for the show. A trip to Montreal and couple days later, Zombie Boy was headed to Paris.
“I remember thinking I have to do this, I just have a gut feeling, I have to work with this guy,” Formichetti said in an interview with Hint. “Everyone said he’s a freak, why would I want to do that to a luxury brand?”
Now the face of Mugler’s new men’s line, Lady Gaga’s latest muse, and on-top of the world, Zombie Boy is living the good life. With plans to tattoo his eyes black and remove his ears and nose, we’ll see how far he’s able to go. Chances are, ain’t no grave gonna hold him down.
by Britt Perkins
Had Scorsese known that the neighborhood now known as Dumbo was previously referred to as Two Bridges and Fulton Landing, the Lower East Side may have had competition for the setting of “Gangs of New York.” Alas, residents purposely uglified their neighborhood’s name to avoid being gentrified and thus priced out. Who would want to live in a place called Dumbo, they thought?
Actually an acronym for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass,” Dumbo is nestled between the concrete and steel titans of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. The raw exterior that hearkens back to Dumbo’s not-too-distant industrial history possesses a rugged beauty. Artists and their galleries have sought refuge for more than 30 years within these concrete walls, thanks to a 1970s government-backed program to increase renters in the area.
Officially designated as a historic district in 2007 by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee, Dumbo is well worth exploring. The following are some places to start with.
1. Warm-up: STEWART/STAND
11:30 – 7:30 daily
The corner of Front & Pearl St (141a)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Part design experiment, part boutique specializing industrial-inspired accessories, Stewart/Stand is a good spot to start off your day in Dumbo.
The Stewart/Stand Design store is located at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge near Brooklyn Bridge Park. Contemporary gifts featuring original products by Stewart/Stand, select Brooklyn, US & international designers.
2. Get crafty: ETSY LABS
55 Washington Street, Suite 512, Brooklyn NY, 11201
Monday, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This season it’s all about DIY and craft. Maybe you’ve been eyeballing some yarn or have an idea for a killer button, but you just don’t know where to start. Scratch that creative itch with an Etsy Craft Night.
The creative group has all of the supplies you will need to turn your childlike wonder into something tangible: perfect for gift-giving or fridge decorating.
Formed to bridge Etsy’s online sales platform for everything handmade with the local community, there is no experience or ability required to play at Etsy Labs.
3. Sweet and Savory: ALMONDINE BAKERY
85 Water St (btwn Main St & Washington St)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
For the Goldilocks of breads and pastries, visiting Almondine Bakery is a must. Sweets done to perfection and croissants that stand alone or make a sandwich are what you’ll find. Quiche, soups and artisan American fare are served up for lunch or a latte and an eponymous “fancy patisserie” are delicious as a midday reprieve.
4. Big Course: SUPERFINE
126 Front St (between Adams St & Jay St)
Brooklyn, NY 11201
York St (F)
High St (A, C)
When your dogs are barking, relaxing with food, drink and ambiance is much-needed. Superfine serves it all up in a stimulating, modern atmosphere. Reds and oranges in just the right amount complement a variety of art that lends itself to a night that goes beyond your standard diner and dive bar.
Live entertainment and Mediterranean-American inspired flavors stimulate the palate in the later hours, but Superfine earns much of its reputation from its Sunday brunch.
5. Main Event: ST. ANN’S WAREHOUSE
38 Water Street (at the corner of Water Street and Dock Street, opposite the entrance to Fulton Ferry State Park)
718.254.8779 or 866.811.4111
Throughout its eclectic, genre-bending history, St. Ann’s Warehouse has been consistent in one aspect: being at the forefront of the musical and theatrical avant-garde.
After 30 years, this season is no different. “Penelope” delves into the minutiae of the lives of four suitors to the eponymous queen waiting for her Homer to return from his odyssey. For a more overtly physical presentation, “Red Shoes” tells the story of a footwear obsession that goes from dancingly delightful to dangerous.
The warehouse space also provides a break from the vertigo and narrowness of Broadway seating to a more relaxed, modern community environment.
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We’re saddened to hear Elizabeth Taylor has passed away. She embodied the golden age of Hollywood, an era that was glamorous and awe-inspiring in every way. Go to Vanityfair.com for an in-depth look at Taylor’s stellar career through enthralling articles and stunning photos. Here are a few of them.
by Viola Jaster | Design Director/W. Coast Contributor
If it weren’t for the swarms of pedestrians crowding the sidewalks and the innumerable neon signs lighting the would-be shadowed corners abandoned by the setting sun, Downtown LA could easily pass for a post-apocalyptic ghost town. It’s dirty. It’s dilapidated. It’s dangerous. It’s everything your mother warned you it would be and nothing like it’s glowingly portrayed on the silver screen.
Homeless people sit propped against graffitied walls and stare empty-eyed at their tattered shoes, while self-important nobodies walk past talking obnoxiously on their cell phones. Around you, every inch of visible space seems to be trying to sell you something. It’s as if the city were a black hole that feeds on everything pure and uncorrupted, and you’re being unwillingly sucked in just by looking at it.
It is in the heart of this bustling, befouled metropolis that the makeshift venue known as Devil’s Night Drive-In puts down stakes to project monthly displays of cult classic films for the ready and willing eyes of both dedicated fans and curious first-timers.
The venue itself is nothing special—it’s just a plain two-story parking lot—but the atmosphere created and recreated every month by both patron and proprietor is something to be noted.
Backed by a veritably awesome soundtrack broadcasted over shortwave radio by virtue of Devil’s Night, the masses of inked-up moviegoers babble and binge on both homemade delights and those provided by Devil’s Night. Delivered via derby girl car-side service, vittles include your garden-variety movie theater fare: popcorn, nachos, hotdogs, and assorted beverages and sweets. As well as something listed as the “Chef Boyardouche Special,” but I’m not entirely sure what that consists of.
The combination of music, eats, and conversation supplied by the cornucopia of like-minded strangers, paired with the picturesque backdrop of historic buildings drenched in tasteful streams of light, make for a somewhat heavenly scene. The only thing that could possibly make the experience better is if the smoggy night sky, faintly aglow with pollution, were replaced with starry heavens.
But, alas, when the clock strikes the appointed hour and everyone retreats to the comfort of their respective cars and seats atop the tarmac, the surroundings become peripheral as the principal attraction (the movie) begins.
Devil’s Night prides itself on showcasing films that have a rabid, though limited, fan following, a luxury not afforded by the majority of movie theaters today—indoor or drive-in.
In fact, the entire operation is a complete contradiction. Within the confines of the world capital of pop culture production, they broadcast the alternative. With past showings that include Pulp Fiction, The Warriors, Donnie Darko, The Lost Boys, and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Devil’s Night is like the Underground Railroad for subversive cinema: They take in virtually forgotten classics and give them a new home.
Audiences come for the experience of watching a movie outdoors and in the company of friends—a component of Americana missed out on by much of today’s youth—and leave either with a newly found admiration for some unconventional little cult classic that had previously alluded them or with a renewed love for an old favorite.
So go, park, eat, converse, and enjoy a nice bit of cinema under the stars—smog covered though they may be.
Devil’s Night Drive-In
240 W. 4th St. (at Broadway)
Second Floor Roof Parking Lot
Summer 2011 Schedule:
April 9 – Trainspotting
May 14 – Grease II
May 28 – Lolita (Kubrick)
June 11 – Dirty Dancing
June 25 – E.T. (Family Night)
July 9 – Anchorman: The Legend Of Ron Burgundy
July 25 – People’s Choice (See website for choices)
August 27 – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
September 10 – The Usual Suspects
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by John Lockett
Justice exploded onto the scene in 2003 with their Simian remix “We are Your Friends,” solidified themselves as electro-rock gods comparable to Daft Punk after their debut album “†” was released in 2007, then vanished from the radar, a flash of brilliance with the staying power of a spark.
Xavier de Rosnay and Gaspard Augé, the French duo behind the band, rode the success of their first album for nearly two years. They released a live album and documentary dubbed “A Cross the Universe,” at the end of 2008 that captured the raw, unbridled energy of their sets and their rock-n-roll lifestyle.
Their songs, which rattled the foundations of nightclubs around the world, were catchy while being difficult to listen to.The purely electronic tracks possessed a certain finesse while being somewhat unrefined. They were obviously inspired by the forefathers of the genre, Daft Punk, but the tunes turned out by Justice were fueled by energy that could hardly be contained by any speaker system.
Then there was nothing.
After touring for a few years and releasing a couple remixes, the highly anticipated follow up album never surfaced. There was speculation that Justice was going to produce a Red Hot Chili Peppers record, but that rumor never came to life. As the ongoing tides of music continued its brutal cycle, Justice seemed to fade away.
Then there was light.
It may have only been a flicker of light, but something was happening. On March 11, Justice posted a cryptic picture on their Facebook page, the only web presence they have. The spark set off so many years ago burst into a wildfire of excitement and anticipation. Fans echoed the enthusiasm of Antoine Clips who commented “OH MY F—– GOD.”
Following the epic post of a toppled-over stone cross glowing in a desert, Justice made an announcement:
THE BEATING OF A MILLION DRUMS
THE FIRE OF A MILLION GUNS
THE MOTHER OF A MILLION SONS
…First single of Justice’s upcoming album
They were back.
Soon after, Adidas released a commercial featuring the new single. The advert was directed by their old cohort Romain Gavras who directed “A Cross the Universe” and the music videos for “Stress” and M.I.A.’s “Born Free.” Katy Perry and B.O.B make appearances as the track beats onward through Gavras’ trademark grittiness.
“Civilization” is everything you’d want from Justice. It ‘s guttural. Heavy. A song you can definitely bang your head to. But it’s nothing really different. Their signature overdrive and disco influences are still there with a few flashes of new sounds. Still, it’s what we want to hear. It’s what we’ve been waiting for.
For now, their new album remains a mystery. “Civilization” will be released April 4 and is available on Youtube . Until then, brace yourself. Once Justice unleashes the floodgates, get ready to D.A.N.C.E.
Read more from Vautour:
- Fear and Loafing
- The Life Aquatic with Michael Bastian
- The American Political Landscape Revealed
- Review: Noah and the Whale’s Newest Album
- Help Japan Now
by John Lockett
I was somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when my love of loafers began to take hold.
It was a long journey from loathing to loving these stylish slip-ons. I always thought they looked hideous, mainly because seeing a pair would conjure up images of the ratty black penny loafers my dad wore to church when I was a kid. It doesn’t help that my exposure to shoes while going to high school in Niceville consisted of Rainbow flip-flops and nothing else.
Needless to say, my taste in footwear was limited from an early start. But after interning at the Mecca of fashion last summer, I finally realized how genius, practical, and stylish loafers really are. And they’re not only for the sartorially inclined.
Loafers will probably be the easiest pair of shoes you’ve ever owned. They’re perfect for slipping on when you’re in a hurry, but you still want to look good. You can wear them with virtually anything, from shorts and a t-shirt when you’re on your way out to enjoy all that spring has to offer, to a formal suit when you’re going in for an interview or going out with your girl. Socks are never required. And above all, they stay in prime condition with little care. Unless you’re in the middle of a savage journey to the heart of the American Dream.
They come in all sorts of colors, textures and designs, so it may be daunting picking your first pair. Take my advice: start simple –dark brown suede or leather, no frills—get used to them, then move on up to something a little more bold and daring. Like these Tom Ford loafers below. Aldo offers a wide variety at affordable prices. My first pair cost only $45 on sale. It’s well worth it considering all the compliments you’ll receive.
In case you were wondering, all these “Fear and Loathing” references are a tribute to Hunter S. Thompson, who set out on his infamous Las Vegas adventure 40 years ago today.
“Some may live, but the crazy never die.” -HST
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by Molly Mosher | Contributing Editor
If you like Daniel, and you also think the United States should implement stricter gun control, text ‘VOTE’ to 4323 now. This is how the voting process will run when American Idol implements its new system. Pollsters everywhere are cashing in on the popularity of American Idol by adding an opinion poll element to the ballot casting process.
Not only can the viewers pass judgment on the singers performing what is basically graded karaoke, they will be able to pass on their judgments of hot topics in American politics.
The emotional introductory videos should impact voter opinion. Pitting a tear-jerking story of adversity and triumph against a hot political issue, the powers that be will most likely sway the masses to align with certain political ideals.
A person will acutely feel the tug of war between admiration of singers and deeply rooted personal values, which will lead to such moral conundrums as:
“Joseph gave his all and really performed tonight, but I am not sure if I want excess kittens and puppies to be euthanized.”
“I do think political power should be concentrated at the state level, but Georgie really fucked up on those melodies.”
“Tia has had such a hard life, and she really deserves to win…after such a long journey… but I am against abortion… I just don’t know if she is worth that vote.”
The pairing of American Idol with political discourse will ensure the American people are actually thinking about political issues, at least each time they tune in Wednesday nights.
At the end of the show, the answers to these hard-hitting questions will be revealed in an easy-to-read bar graph, so you can see just what percentage of American society you disagree with politically.
by John Lockett
It happens all the time.
Musicians come out with a new album that is completely different from what fans expect, and all hell breaks loose. The musicians explain that it is simply their way of growing as artists. Finding new sounds, new ways of expression. All the while, fans are not afraid to unleash battle cries of betrayal.
This goes back to when Bob Dylan went electric, and more recently, when Iron & Wine traded in banjos and slide guitar for electric noise and horns.
Now it’s Noah and the Whale’s turn. NATW released their latest album, Last Night on Earth, on March 15, three years after their last, The First Days of Spring (2009). From the very beginning, it appears to be a vast departure from their earlier work. Gone are the violin-driven, acoustic indie-folk ballads they were known for. Instead, we’re given layers upon layers of synth, drum machines and…a gospel choir. Sounds like a bad 80s album.
But trust me, it’s good.
The record clocks in at just over 33 minutes, but it’s half an hour of pure bliss packed with eclectic beats, melodies and beautiful music. It’s teeming with poetic references to Bukowski, while paying homage to the godfather of punk, Lou Reed. There are also undertones of Leonard Cohen thrown in the mix as well.
All in all, Last Night on Earth is the perfect next step in the evolution of NATW. While it outwardly seems like everything has changed, a lot stays the same. It retains elements NATW fans love. There are a couple songs featuring violin and those catchy guitar riffs. In fact, most of the songs are quite similar to their predecessors and could have easily appeared on their other albums.
The first single, “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.,” has energy unlike anything else they’ve done. The next single, “Wild Thing,” feels like classic NATW with a hint of electricity.
Get a copy today! It’s only $7.99 in the iTunes Store. In the meantime, enjoy this video.