Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kitten Heels

I have never in my life bought a pair of Kitten heels.  Though there's something very Ann Margaret about them, I've always thought they were for tall girls trying to make themselves less so for the shorter men around them.  Perhaps the sensible choice for people that lack commitment to the pain necessary for true shoe idiocy like myself, the queen of crippling shoes.  But then there they were...what had Valentino done?  Of course I first tried on the 5' heel and they were stunning but then my eye drew over to the least probably shoe for my closet.  A RED kitten heel.  You must know that I literally have at the most three items of red clothing in my life.  That's for all four seasons combined over the past two plus decades.  I've just never been drawn to it as a color to wear, it's just not me.  In fact I've probably shied away from it for being so "look at me" the way red can be with it's dirty martinis and naughty ideas.  I'm not even sure why I tried the shoe on but for whatever reason the red Valentino Rockstud kitten heel beckoned to me.  It was a surprising moment when I strapped on the shoe and found it to be actually SEXY.  A kitten heel.  That was Red.  No wonder Valentino is Valentino.





Monday, March 19, 2012

That's my hat.


I hate hats. I don't look good in hats. I don't want a hat. That is until I found my hat. You can't just write off a whole piece of clothing. Saying you don't like hats is like saying you don't like shoes. It's a ludicrous statement. I'm not saying you have to have a hat I'm saying you shouldn't write it off with out at least trying a few. A couple of years ago I went through a serious Sinatra stage. I couldn't listen to, or read enough about the man.  I was particularly impressed with his attention to detail visa vie his appearance as I had begun to change mine. I started to wear suit pants with t shirts or brogues with my jeans. I started to mix the old with the new. Sinatra wore a cardi. I wore a cardi. But I couldn't bring myself to buy a hat. However my wife and girls noticed my obsession and bought me a snap brim fedora like his as a birthday gift. Again I would have never bought myself a hat because as I said I hate hats. But because my girls were so excited about it I tried it. And guess what? I found I liked having a hat. But it wasn't the right one, it felt too Charlie Sheen and not enough Sinatra, so I kept searching. A lot of the members punk and ska bands I love wear the Trilby hat with the short brim, it is sort of the official hat of the ska nation. I went on a hunt for one. But the super short brim proved too short. And my nose too big. Then one day I was looking for live performances from Tim (Rancid) Armstrong's solo record when I came across the the video below. There it was. My hat. Ok his hat first, but mine now. Classic fedora with brim up. Actually the fedora is the worlds most  popular mens hat so it wasn't hard to find one. I googled and found Brixton who I've blogged about before. They make awesome reasonably priced hats. I have 6 of them. I wear them all the time. Not everything about your look will happen right away but if you don't don't try nothing will happen!
P.S. Tim Armstong's style is and always has been punk rock impeccable and his solo record A POET'S LIFE is one of the best ska records recorded in the last 20 years!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Jack White Lesson.


Jack White is everything I wished I was that I never will be but hope to someday become even though I probably won't. But maybe. Three nights ago he preformed two new completely different songs, with two different full bands, from his new record  on SNL.  He fucked my shit up!  Jack's whole "thing"  from White Stripes to the Raconteurs, from the Dead Weather to his now looming solo record are works of artistic perfection even in their missteps and *wrong turns. And here's why I believe that. Because everything Jack White does takes place in a world created exclusively by Jack White for Jack White. All of it from his pants to the tubes in his amplifiers are a specific considered choices made by Jack White to further the ideas of Jack White to the people that like and or love Jack White. Or don't for that matter. If you don't like him he's given you lots not to like I suppose. Because Jack White, does not live in our world... but he is happy for us to live in his. At least what he's willing to share with us.

When White created the White Stripes in 1997 with his then wife Meg he had obvious parameters. The band use only the colors red, white, and black, for everything from live shows to artwork.  They were only ever going to be a two piece, drums and guitar. They were going to play straight up classic American blues slightly filtered through Led Zeppelin, the Stones and the Stooges. White specifically chose a red JB Hutto Montgomery Airline guitar which in the hands of a lesser player can be a pretty crappy guitar. In fact his guitar tone at times can be pretty challenging but when you hear it you know its Jack White. Jack and Meg pretended to be brother and sister. They made their own records. They own their own music. Which means in the old days they probably had to finance their own work.  And they started their little peppermint stick band in Detroit city during the height of grunge. BALLS! What an amazing way to undertake any artistic endeavor. For sure when you make choices like that you are immediately ruling some people out. You are saying that this will only be this. Take it or leave it. But you also have the joy of knowing what the fuck it is you are doing. You define yourself. You don't have to look on other people plates to see what they are having. 

Since that time White has expanded his franchise to include many other people in other combinations but all carefully crafted to fit in his particular version of the world. I am forever fascinated by people who live their lives in such seemingly expert detail because the detail says every decision counts, and those decisions are how they prepare themselves to do battle.  Be it the decision to only wear red, white and black or choosing to work with the Tom Jones each choice seems to be specific to a personal ideology. What is your personal ideology? What are your rules? Not just as an artist but as a person. How can you get more specific to better serve your goals? What are the things that don't serve you. When are you going to get rid of them? These are the questions I've been asking myself a lot lately. Ultimately it's once again having the courage of my convictions to do the things I want so badly to do. Jack White plays by his own rules. I think I'm gonna go play by mine. ODTE!



*The Insane Clown Posse single