THESE PAGES ARE HOT

CLICK ON THE PAGES
FOR REAL LIVE INTERNET ACTION

2 8 t h e fader­

MATCHMAKING WITH:: CRIME MOB’S PRINCESS & DIAMOND••CHEIKH LO & YOUSSOU N’DOUR

SPRING
STYLE
FANTASTIC

MATCHMAKING WITH:: PETE DOHERTY & MICK JONES••DEVENDRA BANHART & BECKY STARK

SPRING
STYLE
FANTASTIC

44

THE FADER MAGAZINE
MARCH 2007

THE FADER MAGAZINE
MARCH 2007

44

44

GANG GANG DANCE

BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY

NEW REVOLUTIONS
IN SOUND

HIP-HOP’S DARK STARS RETURN

NUMBER 44 MARCH 07 THEFADER.COM
HIP BONE

BONE THUGS-N–HARMONY HIP-HOP’S DARK STARS RETURN

F

GANG GANG DANCE NEW REVOLUTIONS IN SOUND

THE CHINESE UNDERGROUND•
UNDERGROUND•EXPLOSIONS IN THE SKY
SKY••DC POST GO-GO

The Empire State Building design is a trademark of Empire State Building Company L.L.C. and is used with permission.

beam your
beats

Share select music wirelessly, mano-a-mano, anytime, anywhere. Fellow Zune-wielding friends can listen to each
song up to three times within three days and ßag favorites to buy later. Other basics include a vivid 3-inch screen,
FM tuner and 30 GB of me space. Ready. Aim. Beam.
Welcome to the social.
zune.net

It is no coincidence.

WHEN HE WAS TWELVE,
HE SINGED OFF HIS EYEBROWS
IN A CHEMISTRY EXPERIMENT.
//

Scion Prole 437chm

Vehicle shown is a computer-generated image, not a real car. Scion in no way recommends or condones the random or experimental mixing of known or unknown substances, even in a beaker, unless
in a supervised laboratory and wearing proper eye, face, lung and skin protection. © 2007 Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. Scion and the Scion logo are trademarks of Toyota Motor Corporation. For more
information, call 1-866-70-SCION (1-866-707-2466), or visit scion.com.

Los Angeles Miami New York San Francisco Georgetown Santa Monica
South Coast Plaza Dallas Ala Moana Stanford Topanga Houston Montreal
Toronto Opening Fall 2007 - Las Vegas Atlanta

energie.it

©2007 Converse Inc. All rights reserved. CONVERSE is a registered trademark of Converse Inc.
JOHN VARVATOS is a registered trademark of John Varvatos Apparel Corp.

CLOTHES AND SHOES FOR GUYS AND GIRLS

(PRODUCT)RED is a trademark of The Persuaders, LLC and is licensed to (RED) partners. The goods and services of (RED) partners bear the (PRODUCT)RED trademark to support (RED).

Number 242 in a series of DIESEL “how to...” guides to successful living. For more information call Diesel U.S.A. 212 7559200 www.diesel.com

44

Fader 44
March 2007
Spring Style
Contents

Hua Dong of Re-TROS, photographed by Ariana Lindquist in Beijing, China, November 2006.

50 FADE IN

GREENPAGES

52 NWSPRNT

Artists, authors, gadgets and gadflys

170 Vinyl Archeology

Folkie Funk

72 THE LOOK

The tomboy chic of post-war London

172 Mixtape: Musics

Dilla, Boredoms, Van Morrison & more

76 STYLE

The most crucial looks

176 Jedi Mind Pix

Music picks straight from the pros

178 Reheaters

Idris Ackamoor

GEN/F

180 Beat Construction Dr Dog

90 Amy Winehouse

182 Books

92 Fam-Lay

184 Dranks

94 Voxtrot

186 Events

97 No Age

188 Stockists

98 Mr Vegas
100 The View
102 Chrisette Michele

3 4 T H E FADER

192 FADEOUT

A Harley ® motorcycle. One mass of rolling sculpture that speaks
of a path uncompromised. Tomorrow, ahead. Yesterday, behind.
Kick through some gears. And step where ordinary men fear to tread.
www.harley-davidson.com.

fit your kit_esfootwear.com

_the season is irrelevant when the goods are timeless

Fader 44
March 2007
Spring Style
Contents

Wale in Bowie, MD, photographed by Dorothy Hong, December 2006.

FEATURES
108 Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

The Spiritualists

116 Gang Gang Dance

Future Perfect

124 Beijing Rock

The Chinese Beat

134 Explosions in the Sky

Pyrotechnicians

140 Wale and Tabi Bonney

New Slang

146 Collaborators

Devendra Banhart & Becky Stark, Pete Doherty & Mick Jones,
Princess & Diamond from Crime Mob, Cheikh Lô & Youssou N’Dour

156 STYLE

On the Corner

44
3 8 T H E FADER

FREDPERRY.COM/SUBCULTURE

PUBLISHER
ANDY COHN
DIRECTOR, ADVERTISING & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
MELANIE SAMARASINGHE

FOUNDING PUBLISHERS
ROB STONE AND JON COHEN
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
ALEXANDRA WAGNER
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
PHIL BICKER
DEPUTY EDITOR
WILL WELCH
SENIOR EDITOR
ERIC DUCKER
SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR
LINDSEY CALDWELL
ASSOCIATE EDITOR
NICK BARAT
ONLINE EDITOR
PETER MACIA
STYLE EDITOR
CHIOMA NNADI
CONTRIBUTING STYLE EDITOR
MOBOLAJI DAWODU
EDITORIAL PRODUCTION COORDINATOR
ALIYA BEST
PHOTOGRAPHY COORDINATOR
DOROTHY HONG
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
EDWIN “STATS” HOUGHTON
INTERNS
SAM HOCKLEY-SMITH, CHRISTOPHER JAMES RICHTER
WRITERS
SAM ADA, JOHN ALBERT, ALEC DERUGGIERO, OMAR
DUBOIS, RANJANI GOPALARATHINAM, DUANE HARRIOTT,
HELEN JENNINGS, KARIN NELSON, SAM RICHARDS,
CHARLIE RYALL, MATTHEW SCHNIPPER
PHOTOGRAPHERS/ILLUSTRATORS/STYLISTS
ALYSSA BANTA, ANNA BAUER, ANDREW BETTLES,
ANDREW DOSUNMU, RICH-JOSEPH FACUN, EMMA
HARDY, ANDREW HENDERSON, KRISANNE JOHNSON, LIZ
JOHNSON ARTUR, NIKOLAS KOENIG, MARTEI KORLEY,
ANDREW KUO, ARIANA LINDQUIST, JASON NOCITO, YURY
OSTROMENTSKI, KEN RUSSELL, MICHAEL SCHMELLING, RJ
SHAUGHNESSY, IAN WRIGHT
CUSTOM FONTS BY KEVIN DRESSER & PAUL ELLIMAN
FADER JAPAN
FADERJAPAN@BLS-ACT.CO.JP
BLUES INTERACTIONS, INC.
9-2-16 AKASAKA, MINATO-KU, TOKYO
107-0052 JAPAN
EDITORIAL
SHIN’ICHI IWAMA
ADVERTISING
TAKASHIRO TAGUCHI

WEST COAST ADVERTISING DIRECTOR
PAUL FAMILETTI
ACCOUNT MANAGERS
GRAHAM HETH, DANA KROZEK
ADVERTISING COORDINATOR
IVY QUEJADO
PUBLICITY DIRECTOR
ED JAMES
MARKETING DIRECTOR
KAELA LAROSA
MARKETING, MEDIA AND EVENTS
SAIDAH BLOUNT, EVAN FRANK, REBECCA SILVERSTEIN
FARM DEPARTMENT
ALEX ARCINIEGA, ANDREW BARNETT, CHRIS HANAKA,
GARY JOHNSON, KARA MARKS, TONY MESONES, JOHN
STAUB, KEVIN HUNTE
FARM TEAM SENIOR REPS
MARVIN ALEXIS, NARCIS ALKHANI, MARY BLAS, BRYAN
BLOOM, JESSE CHEMTOB, BEN CHRISTIANSEN, ECHO
CURRY, BRYAN EDWARDS, JULIO ENRIQUEZ, STEPHANIE
ESTES, TIM FRANK, MONIQUE FRAIZER, AZRIEL GILMORE,
HEATHER HENNESSEY, RICHARD HENRY, ED JEAN, DREW
KRAMER, MICAH MCLEAN, MIKE ORLANDO, SAM PETER,
ZACH POLLAKOFF, TYLER PRATT, SETH PRELESNIK,
CHRISTINA RIMSTAD, MIKE SANTARPIA, CHUCK SEATON,
JOY SELA, NOAH SHOMBERG, GEOFFERY SUMMERS,
BRANDON SWED, JAMES ZAKEE THOMAS, JOCELYN
TURNER, WESTMORELAND D WILSON III
NEWSSTAND DISTRIBUTION
CURTIS CIRCULATION COMPANY
SUBSCRIPTIONS
FELICIA HILL
UK EDITORIAL/OPERATIONS CONSULTANT
DEAN RICKETTS, THE WATCH-MEN AGENCY,
020 7243 0171

Nitro drivers always make new “friends”. . .
Just hope it’s not your “friend.”

TRANSPORTATION/LOGISTICS
CARLSTONE CORPORATION
THE FADER FAMILY
AYDEN ABDUL-AZIM, CHIP ADAMS, MICHAEL ADASKO,
JOE ANGERONE, CHRIS BARBOUR, JESSIE BROWN, ERIN
CHANDLER, EVAN COHEN, MIKE CRUZ, ERIK DANE, MATT
DUFOUR, ROBERT ENGLISH, COLEMAN FEENEY, PAMELA
FLOOD, EVAN FRANK, AMY FULFORD, CLAUDINE GOIN,
VAUGHN GLOVER, ADAM GORODE, MARYCLAIRE
GRACE, STEVEN HASELBACHER, JAKE HURN, TARIK
HARRIS, CARA HELLER, CURTIS HOUSE, CALVIN
HWANG, GIANNI JACKLONE, VON JOHNSON, HARMEET
KALA, LINDA LEE, VANESSA LEVY, DANI LOVETT, STEVE
LOWENTHAL, HEIDI LOWRY, JOHN MAJER, KIMBERLEE
MAR, KELLI MCNAMARA, AMYLU MENESES, OPURUICHE
MILLER, DAVID NATOLI, J NICHOLSON, ANDREW ORTEGA,
PRIYA PALANI, ROBERTO SANTOS, PATRICK SCHMIDT,
ROSEMARY SIMON, KRISTEN SPIELKAMP, KARLI STEIN,
JEFF TAMMES, JEFFREY THROPE, DOUG TIMOTHY, AKIA
VALENTINE, BLAZE WONG, KOBI WU-PASMORE
THE FADER
71 WEST 23RD STREET, FLOOR 13, NY, NY 10010
P 212 741 7100 F 212 741 4747
INFO@THEFADER.COM WWW.THEFADER.COM
THE FADER IS PUBLISHED EIGHT TIMES A YEAR.
SUBSCRIPTIONS: 1 YEAR (8 ISSUES) US $19.95 CANADA $50
INTERNATIONAL $75. ALL RATES IN US DOLLARS
SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES: SUBSCRIPTIONS@THEFADER.
COM.
COPYRIGHT ©2007 “THE FADER” IS A TRADEMARK OF THE
FADER, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ISSN#: 1533-5194
------------------------------------THE FADER INC.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
ANTHONY HOLLAND
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, GENERAL MANAGER
STEVEN JUSTMAN

4 0 T H E FADER

The all-new 2007 Dodge Nitro.
Bold is not enough.
dodge.com/nitro

Fader 44
March 2007
Spring Style
Contributors

ARIANA LINDQUIST
Photographer

MICHAEL SCHMELLING
Photographer

KEN RUSSELL
Photographer

IAN WRIGHT
Illustrator

Assignment:
“The Chinese Beat,” page 124

Assignment:
“Pyrotechnicians,” page 134

Assignment:
“Girls on Film,” page 72

Assignment:
“It Takes Two,” page 146

What Happened:
Shanghai-based photographer
Ariana Lindquist toured the
wilds of Beijing’s underground
clubs to document China’s
fledgling rock scene. Because
many of these bands haven’t
had much media exposure
outside China, most were open
to Ariana’s snaps. “It was very
easy access,” she says.
“People said that the music
scene in Beijing was closed
and suspicious because the
media tries to stereotype
them, but I didn’t find that at
all.” Ariana initially intended
to shoot the bands in a more
relaxed environment rather
than on stage, but the winter
weather (and cheap Tsingtao)
kept folks warm in the club.

What Happened:
FADER regular Michael
Schmelling jetted down to
Austin to shoot Explosions
in the Sky in their homes
and practice space. Once in
Texas, Michael found himself
watching Red Dawn and
eating at Panda Express with
the instrumentally expressive
band. “There was not the kind
of ego-driven dynamic that
can happen on a shoot,” he
says of the close-knit group.
Even though Michael shot
the guys in a more subdued
environment, he feels he
was still able to capture the
emotion and energy that their
songs convey: “I think there
are a couple pictures in there
that reflect the subtleties of
the music.”

What Happened:
Though veteran filmmaker
Ken Russell went to school
for photography, upon
graduation he decided that
his true calling was film.
Ken saved enough money to
create three amateur movies
that garnered the BBC’s
attention, catapulting him
into a long, fruitful career
of moviemaking. “I never
took another picture again,”
he says. It’s been some 50
years since Ken took the
pictures of the Teddy Girls,
but recently there’s been
renewed interest in the
photographs he took early in
his career. At an exhibition of
the work a few months ago,
a few of the original Teddy
Girls were in attendance.
“They were unrecognizable,
married and with kids,” Ken
explains. “They grew up
in a very rough and ready
neighborhood, but turned out
to be nice people.”

What Happened:
This issue we commissioned
artist Ian Wright to put his
playful touch on portraits
of collaborating artists,
something he’s no stranger to
(peep F23’s Caetano Veloso
and David Byrne Hama bead
portraits), but the assignment
was not without its challenges.
After an initial pass in mixed
media, the artist decided to
use a sophisticated child’s toy
(Lite Brites) he had seen on
television a few years ago.
“I’m English, so I just figured
everything is available here
in America,” Ian says. The
elusive toy had him hunting
around New York before
finally rush ordering them
en masse from California.
“I think the toys were too
sophisticated,” Ian explains.
“Or just poorly marketed.”

Where else you can see her
work:
www.arianalindquist.com

Where else you can see his
work: The New York Times
Magazine, New York, www.
michaelschmelling.com

Where else you can see his
work: www.mrianwright.co.uk

KEN RUSSELL ©2006 TOPFOTO

Where else you can see his
work: Women in Love, Altered
States, Tommy, Celebrity Big
Brother 5

4 2 T H E FADER

PROVE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, NOT YOUR CAPACITY.

©2007 DEWAR’S, WHITE LABEL AND THE HIGHLANDER DEVICE ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS AND DEWARISM IS A TRADEMARK. IMPORTED BY JOHN DEWAR & SONS COMPANY, MIAMI, FL. BLENDED SCOTCH WHISKY - 40% ALC. BY VOL.

®

Fader 44
March 2007
Spring Style
Letters

FAN MAIL!
That show last night [the issue #42 Release
Party featuring Vietnam] was embarrassing.
I’ve seen Vietnam live five times and they
always rock small venues. WTF? The Syrup
Room did a better job. Ever heard of a “sound
check”? Your magazine is for lame-ass 35 y-o
twats.
Fuck You.
Blake Freitag

WE ONLY FUCK WITH CHARLIE WATTS
Dear FADER
In your Damon Albarn story [Issue #43, “Return
of the Rockers”], you claim he’s one of the two
or three biggest rock stars in England. Ummm,
aren’t there like five Rolling Stones alone? Did
I miss something?
Desmond

CHIWETEL HAS JAMS TOO, SIS!
Hey Hey Hey!
I was just uptown at my friend’s house drinking
wine and eating celery (don’t ask) and he
got the new Charlotte Gainsbourg album for
Christmas and we put it on repeat and had
more wine before going downtown to meet
friends. But I didn’t want to leave! And I don’t
even like my friend like that! The album is just
TOO GOOD to turn off. I’ve seen a bunch of
Charlotte’s movies and I fell in love her even
before she graced your cover but I just wanted
to say NICE ONE!!! She looked amazing and
deserves it!
Agatha

GET FADE(RED)
Thankfully, the (PRODUCT) RED products are
everywhere at the moment, including here at
The FADER! If you didn’t know, a portion of the
profits made from the sale of (PRODUCT) RED
products go to the Global Fund, to fight AIDS in
Africa. We have a Special Edition iPod Nano
(PRODUCT) RED ($10 goes to the Global Fund
when you purchase one) for you to win, our
FADER friends—all we ask is that you indulge
us with the three best songs with the word “red”
in the title. Whoever has the least worst choices
wins! Send entries to letters@thefader.com. For
more information on (RED) go to www.joinred.com
TM

OOPS!
In our Charlotte Gainsbourg cover story [Issue #41, “French
Revolutions”], we obviously had a brain freeze and spelled

UNDERGROUND KINGS!
Machel Montano on the cover? Where is
KEVIN LYTTLE??? Sorry but THE KING OF
MAINSTREAM SOCA IS NOT INTO YOUR
UNDERGROUND MAGAZINE.
Anonymous

super producer Nigel Godrich’s name wrong.
The story on LA Hybrid Soul [Issue #43, “Electrocuted Los
Angeles”] said that Ty and Kori are signed to Will.i.am Music
Group. They are in fact signed to Buddah Brown Entertainment.

®

Wyle out with us on The Let Out—two hours of remixes, exclusives and the newest/oldest hot shit spun live by the FADER editors. Every
Friday from 6-8pm, East Coast time (motherbitches) on www.eastvillageradio.com, IM “EastVillageRadio” to get at us in the studio, boyo.
4 6 T H E FADER

Fader 44
March 2007
Spring Style
Editor’s Letter

S

ometimes people accuse the intrepid FADER staff of being insolent, corny or of simply
sleeping too late, but I prefer to think of our ragtag bunch of writers, editors
and lunch orderers as dreamers. That’s why when it was time to figure
out our March Spring Style Fantastic, we put the psychics on speed dial,
dusted off the dreamcatchers and spiked our apple martinis with valerian
root. In a magical, Technicolor REM, the juxtaposition of legendary hiphop mind blowers Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and up-and-coming downtown
body rockers Gang Gang Dance just came to us (along with a strange and
sort of unnerving dream about chorizo, but nevermind that). Say what you
will, skeptical minds, but somehow—like potato chips and ice cream, or
Kanye West and an abundance of id—it makes sense. Bone Thugs will be
launching thunderclouds over your nearest horizon sometime this spring
with the release of Strength in Loyalty—their latest oeuvre, produced with
the genius of Swizz Beatz and help from every other heavyhitter on the
planet, plus Will.i.am. Gang Gang Dance’s multi-rhythm, cross-pollinated
rock has been fucking us up for a while now, but with new tunes in the
kitty and a valid pass to Go Get It, we’re watching as they figure out what
to do with their potential stardom.
The visions don’t just stop there, of course (do they ever stop at Krayzie
Bone and Brian DeGraw?): we’ve also taken on some serious scene
reportage with a feature on Beijing’s burgeoning underground rock scene
and a one-two punch profile on DC’s post go-go headliners Wale and Tabi
Bonney. True to form (and issue theme), we also wanted to give our lovers
and sisters and brothers something fantastic in the way of wearable items
for party and play: please check out the exxxxxxxxxtended style section up
front and the deep fashion kablammy in the caboose, featuring gents on
the streets of Mumbai (née Bombay), basically chilling, but looking fly as
all hell while doing so. We think it inspirational. Finally, lastly, superficially
and thus sort of most importantly, you’ll see that this issue debuts a new
design and snappy layout—it’s sort of like we spent the winter in training,
getting tanned, learning French and figuring out which fork to use. Can a
magazine be debonair? No one knows for certain, but we’re sure as hell
gonna try.

On the covers:
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony,
photographed by Jason
Nocito, December, 2006

ALEX WAGNER

Gang Gang Dance,
photographed by Jason
Nocito, December, 2006.

THE FADER 49

FADEIN

PHOTOGRAPHY JASON NOCITO

NWS
PRNT
• Picture Box—the design
studio responsible for
everything from Grammywinning Wilco album
covers to crazed out
hardbacks featuring the
work of Trenton Doyle
Hancock—has recently
been staking a big flag
on planet comic book.
New releases include The
Drips by Taylor McKimens
(documenting a day in the
life of your typical skinmelting construction worker)
and PaperRad’s Cartoon
Workshop. Under the helm
of art director Dan Nadel,
it’s a catalog like no other:
Cold Heat follows its hero
on “a life altering adventure
through Prozac, corporate
rock, globalization, and, of
course, sex.”
CHRISTOPHER JAMES RICHTER

www.pictureboxinc.com

52 T H E FADER

• For acolytes of Man Hero
William Eggleston, there
has always been the
slightly underappreciated
cannon of photographer
Mitch Epstein. Epstein’s
work over the last 30-odd
years has captured much of
the American Heartbreak
and the Heartland in full
color composition, but
the new book Work is a
grand re-examination of
the man’s oeuvre—shot
around the world and
updated with his most
recent projects. Pictures
of Indian men in strip
clubs are found alongside
landscapes of West
Virginia power plants and
massacred front lawns,
post-Katrina, in Biloxi,
Mississippi. It’s all further
proof that heartbreak and
beauty are bedfellows the
world over.
ALEX WAGNER
www.steidlville.com

• Before the 2006 Grammys,
we were curious to see if
Sly Stone’s reemergence
would mean he’d be ready
to take us on a voyage
through the hazed out
years. Next thing we know
the First of the Space Age
Mohicans was onstage. We
realized that the rumor that
he was stashed away in a
Cali mansion with guns,
drugs and Asian twins was
probably just a rumor, and
that the truth was probably
no more accessible, and still
not our business. Legacy
is now reissuing all of Sly’s
studio albums—but it’s still
up to us to decipher the
secret history of his resilient
funk.
WILL WELCH
www.legacyrecordings.com

• Short of, like, stalking
Philip Lorca Di Corcia’s oncampus housing at Yale, the
chances of glimpsing the
boldfaced art gods behind
the canvases/contact sheets
are slim. Photographer
Jason Schmidt does the
hard work for us. Artists
is the lensman’s first book
and it’s an all out whammy
jammy Who’s Who of the
contemporary art scene.
Schmidt manages to frame
heavy hitters like Maurizio
Cattelan and Wolfgang
Tillmans alongside rising
stars Banks Violette and Roe
Ethridge.
ALEX WAGNER
www.steidlville.com

• This winter Silver Lake
landmark and architectural
abnormality the Boat went
on sale. The building
served as the broadcast
and recording outpost for
First Mate Bob and his
Haven of Rest ministry
for several decades until
the mid-’90s when the
Dust Brothers bought the
property following their
success with Hanson
and (Beck) Hansen. After
importing a Neve console
custom-built for George
Martin and designing the
space with an emphasis
on live tracking, it became
the personal studio for the
production duo. In 2003 they
opened it to outsiders. With
recent temporary tenants
including Bright Eyes and
Autolux, the Dust Brothers
have rarely been able to
book time there, so they’ve
put it on the market with the
hope that it will stay intact
and remain a hub of the
eastside music community.
ERIC DUCKER

www.theboatstudio.com

S-90 Low

NWS
PRNT

ROBOT AFTER ALL DAFT PUNK TURN THE KNOBS DOWN WITH ELECTROMA

• In Daft Punk’s dialoguefree art film Electroma they
present a bizarro version of
their Earth personas. This
tale of two robots who want
to be human is markedly
rural, slow, sad and often

5 4 T H E FADER

silent. Made up of long
sequences of robots driving
in the desert, robots getting
latex skin applied to them
and robots feeling shame
in a public bathroom,
Electroma is both hilarious

and genuinely touching.
I actually shed a digital
tear, but only because the
Emotron 230 chip that my
master installed enables
that kind of thing. ERIC DUCKER
www.daftpunk.com

A


J
IM

Y

CU

FF

W

EB

BP

IER

•G

CE

NES • T H E S T O

O

S
ER
TUBB •
DG
EST
RO
RN
• E
• JIM

MY R

ODGERS • T -

•S

C

N

• J
AM
ES
BR
OW
SU

NG

AT
• P

I
LK

IE
B

Y

CO

LE

NR
A

B
E
R
R

TI S

OP

CHUC
K

DB

DA

V

BO
N
E
W
A
L
K
ER

B

RAY

INCE • GEORG
R
P
EC

S
LI N
R
E
T

S
I
PP
N
N
O
A

• THE WHO
FRIZZELL

T
H
EFT Y
EY
• L
AR

CH
AR
LE
S

JIMI HENDRIX •

S
AD
E
H

IRD
S

M • LO N N I E
MAC
• CREA
K

F
E
T

GE JO

GE
S

H
MIT

S

EOR

ID

ON

TH
K • RED H
E
O
B L AC
T
TA
C
H
INT
ILI
P
E

OW

LS

S • GW
E
N

O

NE

CL

KIN

B

CE

OY

D

I
®

M

AD

YL

R

PR

B
LIN

O

AN


RA
Y

IE

N

U

BB

AS

ILL

© 2007 Napster, LLC. Napster and the Napster logo are trademarks of Napster, LLC.

R

• HANK WILLIAMS • JO
RIE
H
N
NY
UTH
C
YG

T

Find your influences and then find theirs.

D

L
E
M

Get a free 7-day trial at napster.com Find Your

MY

OD

R
G
E
S

• F

NG
YOU

JE

IS

EIL

®

IM
• J

W

LIP

E

H
N • MERLE H
WO
A
B DYLA
G
G
• BO
AR
D
ES
•W
ON
• GEO
ST

G • SNOW
G
DO

G

LE

HA

LF

• T. R
EX
•T
HE
THE FL
RO
AM
L
IN

W

G
LIN

ON

BE •
U
C
ICE

• J
ER
RY

T

in this series showcase
silhouettes of child soldiers
from one of the (reported) 36
countries that use children
in their armies. ALEX WAGNER
www.thewarchildproject.com

C

• THE WHO
ENEMY

R
A
I

5 6 T H E FADER

Soldiers Has Been Reported
In Over 33 On-Going or
Recent Armed Conflicts
In Almost Every Region of
the World is a new project
by LA-based visual artist
Clarence Lin. The 36 prints

AM

EO

• P

LI
UB

• D
ON
OV
AN

•N
L • TRA
S
C
E
TRO
PA

• Today As Many As 300,000
Children Under the Age of
18 Serve In Government
Forces or Armed Rebel
Groups. Some Are As
Young As Eight Years Old.
The Participation of Child

,W

• R
AY
C

ES

EA

H
RT

. • THE KINK
S

RL

LY

D. M . C
RUN-

LE

NWS
PRNT

LOST ONES THE BLACK AND WHITE REALITY OF CHILD SOLDIERS

HE
T
D
IRE
N
&F
D
A
IN

O

R

NWS
PRNT

FAST TIMES IN HARLEM, HIGH NICKY BARNES TELLS HIS TALE

I’D PUT A LINE
OF HASH OIL ONTO
A REAL BIG CIGARETTE,
THEN ADD
BLACK MOTAH.I PUT
ON THE ANGEL DUST
REAL THICK,
SPRINKLED
ON CRYSTAL COKE
AND
ROLLED IT ALL UP.

“Now i hadn’t touched
heroin in years—That
was a high i couldn’t
control, but everything
else? Fair fuckin’
game, So i put all of it
in a zing.

We’d smoke that
shit regularly! Zings
were the thing, great
for laying the skins.
Wouldn’t give you
an erection, but got
you to an arabian
nights floating
sensation, A cosmic
flow between you
and your partner. ”

• Out of somewhere deep
in the Federal Witness
Protection Program comes
Mr Untouchable, the
autobiography of Leroy
“Nicky” Barnes. In the
’70s Barnes dominated

5 8 T H E FADER

Harlem’s multi-million
dollar heroin trade and in
Mr Untouchable he paints
himself as a blaxploitation
Tony Soprano, a man whose
progressive ideas were
constantly being undone by

the dunderheaded moves of
those that surrounded him.
But did he party? Oh, you
know this.
ERIC DUCKER
www.ruggedland.com

NWS
PRNT
• Our dudes over at ANP
Quarterly have been
putting out a mag that is
consistently rad enough
to be consistently sold
out—like Keyser Söze sold
out: poof and it’s gone! For
slowpokes like us, ANPers
have just started a blog:
check rvcaanp.com/blog if
you missed the latest Chris
Johanson interview.
ALEX WAGNER

• Jay Howell’s Dogs and
Dog Information is a
pocket-sized booklet of
ink dog drawings and, as
promised, accompanying
“information,” like suggested
dog names (Balls, Craig).
The sketches of panting
dog heads are jokey but
Howell’s canine kinship is
genuine. The author loves
his pets because they’re
“fucking stoked and so
should you be because you
take everything for granted
and you’re life isn’t that bad
and the world is awesome.”
MATTHEW SCHNIPPER

kickuindahead@hotmail.com

6 0 T H E FADER

• Leading up to the arrival of Panda Bear’s Person Pitch LP
this spring, the ursine member of the Animal Collectivo
previewed the album with three singles on three different
labels: UUAR, Fat Cat and Paw Tracks. Each record
showcases Panda Bear’s sampler-based space case pop,
while 13-minute standout “Carrots” sounds like brohammer
is fiddling with his personal radio dial while submerged in
a bath of warm milk and mind butter.
ERIC DUCKER
www.paw-tracks.com

• LCD Soundsystem’s Sound
of Silver is a dance album
whose lyrics brim with
resigned frustration, but its
beating heart is the song
“Someone Great.” Building
on an instrumental first
heard on the 45:33 jogging
mix made for Nike, LCD
centerpiece James Murphy
delivers plaintive vocals
that counterbalance the
track’s cheerfully pinging
chimes. By the third stanza,
when Murphy mopes
The worst is all the lovely
weather/ I’m stunned it’s
not raining/ The coffee isn’t
even bitter/ Because, what’s
the difference?, he captures
post-breakup ennui nearly
as well as Prince did in his
lyrics for “Nothing Compares
2 U.”
CHARLIE RYALL
www.lcdsoundsystem.com

PHOTOGRAPHY JASON NOCITO (LCD SOUNDSYSTEM).

• Though his address
was in Washington DC,
outsider artist Mingering
Mike lived in a fantasy
world of his own device.
He created sleeves for
imaginary recording artists
obsessively catalogued on
imaginary record labels.
Each of his 40+ record
covers were detailed with
gatefold interiors, liner
notes and a cardboard
record with the correct
number of corresponding
grooves drawn into it.
This spring, Princeton
Architectural Press releases
a compendium of the
maestro’s work: Mingering
Mike: the Amazing Career
of a Soul Superstar. It
doesn’t matter that none of
these albums are real, by
the end of the book you feel
like you’ve heard every
last song. SAM HOCKLEY SMITH
www.papress.com

NWS
PRNT

THE OFFSPRING SEEDS & RANKINGS

IMAGE ANDREW KUO

6 2 T H E FADER

DEAD STONED & NAKED QUESTIONS FOR DEERHUNTER & THE BLACK LIPS

NWS
PRNT

IMAGE YURY OSTROMENTSKY

A

She used to listen to the
Stones and vacuum our
shag carpets. And before she
would leave each night she
would give me a big kiss and
it just stuck with me.

tlanta bands Black
Lips and Deerhunter
are easily two of
the most fucked
up bands on earth right
now—each seems to feed off
of the demented erotic squall
of the other. We emailed both
bands pretty much the same
batch of questions; Cole and
Jared from the Black Lips
answered between takes
for a studio album coming
in May, and Bradford from
Deerhunter answered
between takes of playing
treated wine glasses for the
soundtrack to Spike Jonze’s
Where The Wild Things Are.

What’s on your hi-fi? The
Falcons I Found a Love
(Wilson Pickett’s old band);
Love Forever Changes; Dave
Dudley Rural Route 1; Red
Sovine, because he talks over
country truck driving songs
that make you cry.

DEERHUNTER

6 4 T H E FADER

M

Y

What neighborhoods in
Atlanta do you live in? Ian
comes from the slums of New
Orleans. The rest of us are
from Dunwoody, the finest
area in Atlanta. The only
place where there’s a tennis
court and a pool for every
backyard. The only place
where there’s a nanny and
three cars in the driveway.
The only place where
poodles’ nails are filed down
to the ivory bone.

WILL WELCH

Are there any Atlanta
landmarks that are relevant
to band lore? Notown—a
mythological place that was
the back warehouse of this
old building in downtown
Marietta that my dad used
to rent to run his mortgage
office. Deerhunter started
there. I’d stay there all night,
completely stoned, making 4track tapes until dawn. Black
Lips recorded there and even
have a song, “Notown Blues.”
It had tons of weird shit like
broken electric pianos and
percussion lying around.
Now it’s a Mexican grocery
store.

C

What’s the most important
hip-hop record to you? Three
6 Mafia, Mystic Styles

What’s the most important
hip-hop record to you? WuTang Forever
What’s the story behind your
first encounter with Black
Lips? My friend Paul took
me to see his sister Sarah’s
band the Lids. This band
called the Black Lips played
and it was like watching a
hurricane spinning in place
and detuning itself. I was
also really stoned. I sat on
this couch and somebody

was DJing old garage rock
records. Cole jumped on a
coffee table in front of me and
got all in my face and was
like “WHO are YOU???” I told
him his band reminded me of
early Beefheart. We’ve been
best friends ever since….
“Cryptogram” and
“cryptograph” are
synonyms. Any reason
you named your album
Cryptograms? Because
when I say “cryptograph”

my teeth hit my lips and it
accentuates my overbite. I
look ugly.
Is there anything non music
related that y’all do together
often? We make out and
smoke joints and play with
switchblades.
BLACK LIPS
Where’d your band name
come from? I had a fat black
babysitter named Denise.

Don’t you have a new
album out soon? We have
a live album recorded in
Tijuana—it was a blast, a
wild spectacle complete with
donkeys and $12 hookers and
vomiting gangsters.

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

SIGN LANGUAGE SHANNON EBNER’S UNNATURAL BEAUTY

NWS
PRNT

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

• Artist Shannon Ebner
follows in the steps of
greats like Ed Ruscha,
bridging the gap between
text and visual so that
each comments on the
other—a very 21st Century

6 6 T H E FADER

meditation on language
and image. LANDSCAPE
INCARCERATION teeters
over a barren stretch of
grass and mud, while the
shadow of CHEMO floats
on a rocky lunarscape,

abutted by WATER drifting
in silver balloons. Ebner’s
words reference political
and religious phraseology
that isn’t always readily
discernible—but the
juxtapositions are striking

comments in themselves.
Her pieces are also—in the
tradition of the Hollywood
sign—grand, sweeping
gestures of beauty.
ALEX WAGNER

www. wallspacegallery.com

OSAKA 500 TOMOE HAMAYA’S NITRO-BURNING POP ART

NWS
PRNT

• Japanese artist Tomoe
Hamaya constructs his
painstakingly detailed
“Critical Hit” pieces out
of model racecar decals,
stacking checkered flags
over intersecting lines of

phrases like “Tigerzap”
and “Sonic.” It’s modern
art for Ritalin kids, merging
childhood toy obsessiveness
and media overload with
the traditional Rimpa school
of decorative painting.

The stickers have earned
Hamaya exhibitions at the
Kyoto Museum and the
Tokyo Wonder Site, as well
as the admiration of graf
graphic luminaries like
KAWS. “I’m not famous

yet,” Hamaya says. “But I’m
looking for a chance.” He
doesn’t have a gallery rep,
or even a proper website,
but Hamaya knows the fast
track for weirdo stardom—
he’s currently enrolled in

Osaka University, not for
art, but for grad school-level
mathematics.
NICK BARAT
hayamatomoe@e-mail.jp

®

*Than our previous blend. © 2006 McDonald’s
6 8 T H E FADER

®

NWS
PRNT

MAN DOWN WERNER HERZOG REVISTS THE HORROR WITH RESCUE DAWN

• Werner Herzog has been
a crazerly prolific filmmaker
since the 1960s, but with
the 2005 documentary
Grizzly Man he reignited
a (relatively) greater
interest in his work. The

70 T H E FADER

German director’s latest
is Rescue Dawn, a film
based on the experiences
of Dieter Dengler, a friend
of Herzog’s who was shot
down over Laos and kept
in a POW camp in the

early stages of the Vietnam
War. Gorgeously filmed
in Thailand and starring
Christian Bale, the film
is bookended by almost
satirical Top Gun-esque
passages, but their contrast

with the film’s brutal
center only emphasizes
the bottomless despair of
another terrible war we got
ourselves into. ERIC DUCKER
www.wernerherzog.com

GIRLS ON FILM THE TOMBOY CHIC OF POSTWAR LONDON

LOOK
PHOTOGRAPHY © KEN RUSSELL TOPHAM/THE IMAGE WORKS

• Ken Russell was still a
photography student when
he took pictures of London’s
Teddy Girls in the mid-’50s.
Unlike the standard Teddy
Boy uniform of drape coats
and drainpipe trousers,
the girls were playful in

72 T H E FADER

their styling, accessorizing
with brooches and scarves,
posing with umbrellas
propped like walking canes
in the post-war rubble.
Upper class gentlemen had
adopted Edwardian garb
as a nostalgic throwback

to pre-war times, but for
these working class women,
their clothes pointed to a
different future. Pants were
signs of a modern age
where women could hold
down jobs traditionally
occupied by men. For the

most part, the Teddy Girls
stayed in the shadow of
their male counterparts (the
style was largely associated
with rebellious youth), and
were never fully recognized
as a subculture in their
own right. Russell—who

is preparing an exhibition
of these unpublished
images and others from ’50s
London—turns 80 this year,
and is the only professional
photographer known to
have documented the group.
CHIOMA NNADI

THE FADER 73

74 T H E FADER

THE FADER 75

THE LOCAL VANESSA DA SILVA IS LADY OF THE MANOR

STYLE
PHOTOGRAPHY EMMA HARDY

• As street markets go,
Dalston in East London
is what you might call
the magpie’s favorite—a
hodgepodge of fake
bling, cheap and cheerful
cosmetic stands and

76 T H E FADER

tables overflowing with
high-shine African fabrics.
“People always says ‘Ugh!
Hackney,’ but actually
there is a lot of beauty in
this neighborhood,” says
illustrator and Dalston

resident Vanessa da Silva.
The designs for her latest
collection of self-titled Tshirts piece together all
da Silva’s favorite local
goodies—a cobweb of
illustrated glitz makes for

a gigantic neckpiece on
one tee, while a shopping
bag full of market finds gets
splashed across another.
CHIOMA NNADI

www.vanessadasilva.com

WORLD TOUR ADIDAS GETS GLOBAL

STYLE
PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW BETTLES

• For spring ’07, Adidas
packed a suitcase full of
classic track tops and pulled
a Phileas Fogg, jetting
off on a round-the-world
tour to pick up new design
tricks from all four corners.

78 T H E FADER

This African-inspired jacket
takes its embroidered
neckline from the traditional
beaded necklaces worn
by Maasai tribeswomen,
while traditional African
wax printing techniques

were used to create its
muticolored lining.
CHIOMA NNADI

www.adidas.com

STYLE
• A graduate of London’s Central Saint Martins, Charlotte
Mann used to make costumes for Russell Sage (dresses
formed from flowers, money and so forth) before deciding
that painting pretty ladies was more fun. “I love drawing
sexy women,” she says. “I love their bodies, faces, hair
and clothes!” Her obsession has come in handy—she
doodled the backdrop for Peter Jensen’s Spring/Summer
’07 show (it took a week, and several pens) and is currently
creating an installation for London boutique b store,
exhibiting with organic couturiers OsvoMode and
releasing a book of illustrations of said cute females. Of
her day-to-day process, Mann says, “I wear dark glasses
so I can get away with sketching them on buses without
them noticing.”
HELEN JENNINGS
www.charlottemann.co.uk

• Nothing is really better
than arts and crafts that
double as both jewelry AND
a drumstick accessory, so
we’re all for the psychedelic
squeezeability of Pon Pons
by Abby and Travis.
Confident that, “Pons can
make for a sexier wardrobe,”
Abby says, “People love
to touch and squeeze them.”
The duo is currently
“trying to make the best
pon in the world, the one
that will keep everyone up
at night.”
RANJANI GOPALARATHINAM

pondiriver.blogspot.com

• Like a sartorial Grey
Gardens, Austrian-born
designer Carolin Lerch’s
line Pelican Avenue
comments on the solitude
of older Viennese women
with its first collection,
Edition Dame. The wide,
round neckline of the
“garden outfit,” is meant
to “frame” the wearer’s
personality. “By framing
mature faces, I’d like to
give [these women] back a
certain dignity which I think
is fading in our society,
and especially fashion,”
says Lerch. The print, also
based on an ellipse, is a
computer composition of
indoor plants (common
in a Viennese household)
inspired by “symmetrical
flower compositions of neat
graveyards or arranged
bouquets.” Lerch then
uses the thoughtfully
deconstructed clothes in her
video art and in the context
of curating—a well-rounded
battalion with which to
raise “opposition to trends
and the destructive attitude
of hypes.” In other words:
creativity rules!
RANJANI GOPALARATHINAM

www.pelicanevenue.com

• Euro designer Joline Jolink shape-shifts through cultures like
it’s no big deal. In 2006 alone, Jolink went from Amsterdam
(where she lives and works) to Paris (to create a guerilla
fashion show outside of the Celine show) to Italy (where she
represented Dutch design during the second European Fashion
awards). Unsurprisingly, Jolink cites Amelia Earhart as an
inspiration; her new collection channels a 1970s yacht trip
via a nautical color palette, stretchy fabrics, breezy neck-high
silhouettes and a “fresh leaf” print design. Borrowing a bit
from The Love Boat and a bit from Balenciaga, Jolink’s clothes,
which arrive Stateside this fall, possess an easy, irresistible
docksider elegance.
RANJANI GOPALARATHINAM
www.jolinejolink.com

• For some, the art of
travel extends no further
than floral tapestry
trolleys; for others, there’s
Globe-Trotter. Since 1897,
the Hertfordshire-based
luggage brand has been
the premier choice of highminded travelers from
Winston Churchill to Kate
Moss. Why? Two words:
Vulcan Fibre. Each leathertrimmed, cloth-lined
case is handmade using
this patented material
masterminded in the mid19th Century to be as light
as aluminum and sturdy
as leather. Lucky for those
Americans looking for an
upgrade: Globe-Trotter
cases have finally—for the
first time in their 110-years
of unabashed jet-setting—
arrived in the States. Ah,
the irony is rich. KARIN NELSON
www.globe-trotterltd.com

like a
dollar shop.
except delicious.

The New BK™ Breakfast Value Menu.

deal on breakfast? Hit the new BK Breakfast Value Menu. Pick up some tasty CHEESY TOTS,™
the amazing new Hamlette sandwich or eight other breakfast treats, all starting at a dollar each.
There’s no better way to begin the day than with the King.

HAVE IT YOUR WAY®

Participation may vary.

CHEESY TOTS™ is a trademark of H.J. Heinz Company and used under license by Burger King Corporation.

8 0 T H E FADER

Looking for a great

TM & © 2007 Burger King Brands Inc. All rights reserved.

CONSTRUCTION WORK ENGINEERED GARMENTS REINVENT STYLES

STYLE
PHOTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG

• Before crotch shots and
sweatshop-free unitards,
American apparel
was a lofty notion of
craftsmanship, a beast of
an industry standard that’s
sadly seen sturdier days.

8 2 T H E FADER

Japanese designer Daisuke
Suzuki has always had a
soft spot for the glory years
of Americana and feeds
this sartorial habit with
Engineered Garments,
his line of built-to-last

menswear—mili-jackets
and hunting coats all
manufactured using old
US standard techniques.
Unsurprisingly, everything’s
been produced exclusively
in the States since the

company launched nearly
10 years ago, even though
the line was until recently,
only available in Japan.
Traditionally worn for
trekking or padding around
in the wild, their Arrow Moc

boot is made in partnership
with a small studio in
Massachusetts. Each pair
molds to the wearer’s feet
for custom-made footprints.
CHIOMA NNADI

www.engineeredgarments.com

A G THING GINO GREEN TRIPLES UP

STYLE

F

or the past year and
a half, a stout half
Irish and half Puerto
Rican outsider/insider
simply known as Prince has
been on the road with his
clothing line, Gino Green
Global. By now, you’ve seen
the stuff everywhere: the
tees and hoodies covered
with the “g” that more or less
passes for a “9.” Prince let us
aboard the GGG tour bus on
a short stop at their NYC HQ
to meet the rest of the family.

Dave: We recently went to
Atlanta and people were
buying our sweatshirts off
people’s backs! Not to blow
Sean Jean or Rocawear’s
covers, but nobody’s buying
fucking collections anymore!
So, Prince came up with
the idea that if it’s hot, let’s
get it in before they bootleg
it—niggas ain’t fuckin’
bootlegging Akademiks ’cos
that shit don’t sell! Niggas
only bootleg shit that sells.
Niggas bootleg Gino Green
and Air Force Ones, not 8Ball jackets!
Mata: The bootleggers are
even coming with more
styles than us!
Dave: And when the
bootleggers come up with
long-sleeve tees, we come
out with leathers!

What made you start Gino
Green? Prince: I’ve been
doing this my whole life.
It all originated from the
culture itself—I’m a graffiti
artist. And I didn’t become
a rapper first and then go
into designing; I’ve always
wanted to be a designer.
I can appreciate that. But
why the name Gino Green
itself and not say, Tony
Black or Henry Indigo, even?
Prince: I was watching a
lot of Italian designers and
I’m aware that the market
follows a lot of Italian
designers, so it had to have
a little of that niche to it. Plus
we use a lot of Italian fabrics
so it just made sense. To us,
the word “Gino,” means

8 4 T H E FADER

“I WANTED TO
MAKE IT LOOK
LIKE THREE 9S
SO THAT THEY
COLLABORATE
AS GS. THAT
WAY YOU GET
THE BEST OF
BOTH WORLDS
AND HAVE
PEOPLE SAYING:
‘WHAT IS THAT?
IS THAT A 9 OR
A G?’”

genuine in and out. As far as
Green, I feel as though it’s the
most powerful color in the
universe.
How do you think you really
differ from say, A Bathing
Ape or Ice Cream? Prince:
We respect Bathing Apes
and everything, but Bathing
Apes ain’t from where
we from! We all from the
boroughs of New York,
we’re from where hip-hop
started. That’s the culture,
the concept, the language,
the swagger, the walk, the
BMWs, the fitted hats. That
shit is a New York thing! So
really, at the end of the day,
how the fuck is somebody

else from overseas gonna
tell us how to wear our pants
and cut our pants?!

WORN BY:

What’s the story behind the
“g” as a “9”? Prince: We
go back to the days of Louis
Vuitton and Gucci and their
eye-catching logos. A lot of
people know that clothing
lines do two-digit numbers:
67 for Polo or even 05 for
FUBU. But I wanted to do
a three-digit number, and
make it look like three 9s so
that they collaborate as gs.
That way you get the best of
both worlds and have people
saying: ‘What is that? Is that
a 9 or a g?’ There goes your
marketing!

TEGO CALDERÓN

50 CENT
PAPOOSE
BUSTA RHYMES
REMY MA
KEYSHIA COLE
LLOYD BANKS
DADDY YANKEE
TONY YAYO
LIL SCRAPPY
DJ KAYSLAY
DJ PROSTYLE

Sort of like a battle? Mata:
Exactly. We’re not trying to
lose touch. Basically, we’re
like a drug: you’ve got coke,
weed, dust and all that.
Now, the profit in coke is a
fast flip, the profit in dope is
a big flip…. But, the weed
is a guaranteed flip—it’s a
slow process but it’s always
pure and you never lose out.
Guess which one we are.
OMAR DUBOIS

www.ginogreenglobal.com

STYLING BY CHIOMA NNADI. KEVIN WEARS T-SHIRT BY GINO GREEN, JEANS BY PARISH, HAT BY AIR JORDAN.

PHOTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG

IN LIVING COLOR ZIGFREDA SPINS KALEIDOSCOPE THREADS

STYLE
PHOTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG

Damon Albarn,
Damon
Albarn,
Tony Allen,
Tony
Paul Simonon,
Simonon,
Paul
and Simon Tong
and
Tong

• Some designers rely on
muses, but for Brazilian
designer Katia Wille,
inspiration is a good
commercial break. “I saw
this commercial for new
flat screen televisions,”

8 6 T H E FADER

she says. “There were
thousands of giant colored
balls bouncing all over
San Francisco and it just
seemed like a metaphor
for harmony.” Hints of
TV reverie can be found

throughout the new
Zigfreda collection—from
bouncy primary-colored
separates to jumpsuits
illustrated with airplanes
and colored bubbles. Wille
drew all the celluloid-

inspired prints by hand and
runs the business with her
Dutch husband. “When we
lived in Holland I used to
call my husband Zigfredo
after the Segafredo coffee
that was sold at the place

we used to meet. Then we
named our cat Ziggy, so
of course Zigfreda for the
label—it just seemed to
make perfect sense!”
CHIOMA NNADI

www.zigfreda.com

STYLING BY CHIOMA NNADI. MODEL MONICA NELSON.

Produced by
by Danger
Produced
Danger Mouse
Mouse
"[an] incredibly
incredibly beautiful
"[an]
beautiful record"
record"
-NYLON guys
-NYLON guys
"The Good, The Bad And The Queen adds
"The Good, The Bad And The Queen adds
up to, among other things, another
up to, among other things, another
brazenly inventive chapter in Damon
brazenly
chapter in Damon
Albarn's inventive
restless career"
Albarn's
- Paste restless career"
- Paste

In stores and online now
at and online now
InAvailable
stores
Available at

www.virginrecords.com
www.thegoodthebadandthequeen.com
www.virginrecords.com

© 2007 Thirteen Limited under exclusive license to EMI Records Ltd., in the United States to
Virgin Records America, Inc. All rights reserved.
© 2007 Thirteen Limited under exclusive license to EMI Records Ltd., in the United States to

AIR APPARENT DJ CLARK KENT’S AIR FORCE ONE ADDICTION

STYLE
PHOTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG

Total number of Air Force
Ones purchased: About
3500, but I do own a few Air
Jordans too.
Number currently in
collection: About 1400. I

8 8 T H E FADER

gave a bunch of them away.
First pair ever purchased:
A silver and white pair I got
back in 1982. I went down
to Baltimore to buy them
because you couldn’t get

them anywhere else at the
time.
Average number of wears
per sneaker: One. It used to
be more, though. Now they
look dirty after one wear.

Storage location: My house
in Brooklyn and my mom’s
basement.
Average number bought
per international shopping
spree: 10 to 40. I often

buy them in Japan and
Australia.
Favorite pair: White on
white low-tops. CHIOMA NNADI

“I WROTE
SONGS ABOUT
RELATIONSHIPS
THAT ALMOST
ENDED ME.”

GENF
BOTTLE
ROCKET
AMY
WINEHOUSE’S
WASTED R&B

Amy Winehouse, backstage
at G-A-Y, London.

PHOTOGRAPHY LIZ JOHNSON ARTUR

I

t’s 8PM on a Friday night in New
York City and Amy Winehouse
wants a tattoo. Another one. Her
left arm has already been graced
by an upside-down horseshoe and
a topless model, and her right has
been inked with a greaser chick in
red pumps, a tied-up shirt and the
name “Cynthia,” but somewhere
inside the neon yellow tattoo
parlor next to East Village Radio, a
buzzing needle whispers her name.
“Don’t get one now!” says DJ Mark
Ronson, who brought Winehouse
over to the station to guest on his
show. “It’s going to make you too
tired to sing.”
After listening to Winehouse’s
Back to Black, exhaustion seems
like it would be as much an asset
to the singer as an impediment.
The album is a showcase for
Winehouse’s smoldering voice—a
ragged, throwback croon that
makes you wonder why anyone
would ever stop calling nightclubs
“gin joints”—and her deeply
confessional lyrics, which detail
broken hearts and broken bottles in
equal measure. “This album was so
easy to make,” Winehouse would
explain over the phone, back home
in London for a live show a few
weeks after the EVR stop. “I mean,
I wrote songs about relationships
that almost ended me. When you
write about stuff that’s so personal,
you don’t have to dig that deep.”
Yet for all its inky tears, the actual
music on Back to Black, produced
by Ronson and beat extraordinaire
Salaam Remi, is a rather upbeat
nod to Motown classics and Phil
Spector’s girl group backbeat.
Lead single “Rehab” might be the
happiest song to ever contain a
line like I’m gonna lose my baby,
so I always keep a bottle near, and
it’s follow up, “You Know I’m No
Good,” is no less poppy, even as
Winehouse wails to an ex-lover, I
cry for you on the kitchen floor.
Ghostface Killah recently added
verses to “You Know I’m No Good”
for his More Fish album, and as
that track gets spins on US urban
radio—and Back to Black’s US
release draws near—Winehouse
finds herself positioned as an
unlikely R&B diva and hip-hop
guest star. But who else is going
to share her fondness for tats and
top shelf liquors? “You know that
Ronnettes tune, ‘Be My Baby?’” she
asks. “When I was with Salaam
last time, he had me sing that
chorus, but make it B-boy, be my
baby, Then he tried to get me to
do a verse! I was like, ‘I thought
you were going to get Nas or
something?’”
NICK BARAT

“SHARKS
DON’T GOT
NO TYPE OF
EXPRESSIONS
ON THEM, SO
PEOPLE GET
IN THE WATER
WITH THEM
THINKING THEY
AIN’T DOING
NOTHING.”

GENF
JAWS
FAM-LAY IS
GONNA BITE
RAP’S LEG OFF

S

omehow, despite the fact that Virginia
has thoroughly dominated commercial
rap and R&B since Teddy Riley relocated
to VA Beach over 15 years ago, the current
kings of the Tidewater, the Neptunes, can’t
get anybody to put their friends’ records
out. Clipse finally got their due, but now it’s
Norfolk’s Fam-Lay sitting in the chamber,
one shelved Def Jam album already fully
shrouded in dust and another album, Dat
Missile, floating somewhere on Interscope’s
Spring/Summer ’07 schedule. If nothing else,
Hell Hath No Fury should have snapped some
execs out of their slumber and solidified a date
for Fam’s album, which is already leaking
nuclear material like a Russian submarine.
Label antics are frustrating, but a Gangsta
Grillz session with Atlanta mixtape impresario
DJ Drama will plug the holes for the time
being. Fam, meanwhile, has already been
through it once and trusts it won’t happen the
same way twice. Referring to his new label,
Fam says, “They know what we trying to
do, the direction we going. So I ain’t mad at
all. [The Def Jam shelving] was a blessing in
disguise because we ready now.”
When Fam talks like this, like he’s about
to prey on the rap status quo, it’s hard not to
notice the full-sleeve tattoo on his right arm.
“Yeah, I got an armful of sharks,” he says.
“Sharks don’t got no type of expressions on
them, so people get in the water with them

thinking they ain’t doing nothing. Go fuck
around and they bite your damn leg off.” He
says it with the same dry humor and nautical
drawl that coats his raps in salty Norfolk air.
It’s what distinguishes him from the almost
region-less sound of his friends, Pusha T
and Malice, and what makes Fam such an
appealing spokesman for the area. In fact,
as he sits in front of the local barbershop/
music-talk shop, Furious Styles, Fam is
frequently approached by random kids and
neighborhood acquaintances as if he were an
elected official. “Even though Clipse are just
20 minutes up the road,” he says, “we got a
completely different thing going on over here
in Norfolk from Virginia Beach.”
On the Neptunes-produced “Head Bust,”
it’s readily apparent Fam has no intention of
masking his Southern accent—his tumbling
intonation oozes charm over what he
describes as “mean monster shit.” It’s true,
Pharrell and Chad save some of their ugliest
for Fam, but he’s going sub-Dixie for the rest
of his album, racking up beats from David
Banner, Three 6 Mafia, DJ Toomp and Shawty
Redd. The all-star production might turn
heads to the bottom of the map, but Fam-Lay
will bring them right back to Norfolk.

Fam-Lay onstage
at Norfolk, VA club
Norva before a show
with Pharrell and
Clipse.

PETER MACIA

PHOTOGRAPHY RICH-JOSEPH FACUN

92 T H E FADER

“I PRETTY MUCH
LOST IT AND
BURST INTO
TEARS, WHICH
IS COMPLETELY
RIDICULOUS.”

GENF
THE
MISEDUCATION
VOXTROT IS
THE INDIE POP
JOHN LEGEND

R

amesh Srivastava keeps a blog, and
this past September he detailed how a
Voxtrot practice made him cry: “More and
more I find myself in a scenario where I am
situated in a room with a group of people
listening to one of our songs boom out of a
set of speakers, and as the song plays people
issue their various views about the song’s
strong and weak points. I fucking hate this.
On the particular day in question, as this was
occurring, I pretty much lost it and burst into
tears, which I know is completely ridiculous.”
Maybe it’s ridiculous, but it’s better than not
caring and making bad music. In the song
“Rise Up in the Dirt,” he sings boastfully that
he believes in love and, naturally, in the
next line he professes that he’s married to
his work. Really, Voxtrot and Srivastava are
indistinguishable.
So Voxtrot (the music) sounds just this close
to Voxtrot (the band). The sound has little
accoutrements to represent emotions—maybe
there is a blow of a French horn for emptiness,
a piano trill for failed effort. The songs aren’t
epics but instead little vignettes of young life
reinterpreted as guitar-based pop music.
They sound vaguely British, and when the
keyboard kicks in, maybe more than a little
like Ben Folds Five. There’s a universality
to Voxtrot, like an indie-pop John Legend—
incredibly personal, widely loved and critically
acclaimed. But unlike Hill, Srivastava and

friends remain Grammy-less—Voxtrot still
hasn’t even released an album. Srisvastra
is flippant about the public’s (or, as he puts
it, “the blogosphere’s”) desire for the band
to release a full-length (he’s big on EPs).
Nonetheless, Voxtrot plans to “supposedly”
release an album in the spring on British label
Playlouder.
Early in our conversation, Srivastra tells me
that he dropped out of college to play music.
He’d been writing “man and his guitar” songs
and playing loosely with Voxtrot, but finally
he let the band coalesce and bubble up. He
says it so plainly, as though all 23-year-olds
abandon parent-satisfying BAs to pursue their
eternal musical dreams. When I ask him if it’s
strange—such new semi-fame and praise—he
answers so quick it’s almost curt: “No, I love it.”
Then he takes a mental step back, laughs tiny
and pauses, then finally admits with playful
self-awareness that, of course, “Pride comes
before the fall.”
MATTHEW SCHNIPPER

Voxtrot at home in
Austin, TX.

PHOTOGRAPHY ALYSSA BANTA

9 4 T H E FADER

“IT ALMOST
SEEMED LIKE
CONTINUING
ON AS
WIVES WAS
POINTLESS.”

GENF
OWN ZONE
NO AGE FLY
THE FLAG OF
FREEDOM

D

ean Spunt and Randy Randall were
somewhere in Germany on the edge of
emotional breakdowns when the realization
began to take hold. It was the summer of
2005 and they were in the midst of a fear
and self-loathing tour of Europe with their
band Wives—driving themselves in a rented
station wagon, searching for vegan food and
playing on borrowed equipment. In 2001 the
two had formed Wives with drummer Jeremy
Villalobos, eventually becoming one of the
leading lights of LA’s young punk community,
but Villalobos had quit the group at the
beginning of their preceding two-month tour
of the US, forcing them to recruit a Texan
teenager as a replacement. After a show in
Essen, they realized how unpsyched and
trapped they felt by the music they were
playing. “It almost seemed like continuing on
as Wives was pointless,” says Spunt. They
decided that the shows on that tour would be
their last under the Wives banner and then
everything became a whole lot better. When
they returned home they remade themselves
as No Age.
With Randall on heavy pedal-ed guitar
as Spunt sings and plays drums, No Age
retains the duo’s interest in hardcore, but
they are more likely to bury or burn it in their
songs. Dealing with dual desires to be more
experimental and more pop, they don’t let
either side control the conflict. Instead they

play them off each other or allow them to
slug it out. On “Semi-Sorted,” while the bass
drum keeps time like a heartbeat at rest and
the guitar struggles in a straightjacket of fuzz,
Spunt sings We all stick to our sides/ We all
don’t know why. March brings the first official
releases of No Age music, coming as five
different EPs on five different labels—Upset
the Rhythm, Deleted Art, Youth Attack,
Teenage Teardrops and Spunt’s own Post
Present Medium—though they admit they
probably should have put more thought into
which indie got what songs.
No Age has become an exercise in freedom
for Spunt and Randall, not only letting them
play whatever type of music they want, but
also allowing two guys who’ve been seen
as “guys in bands” since before they turned
20 identify themselves as something greater.
They have already made ventures into
clothing and visual art, and LA’s cultural
edgeriders have embraced the group,
booking them to play galleries like New Image
and Tiny Creatures as well as the birthday
of Chinatown boutique Ooga Booga. Semijoking about the differences in audience
reaction to a No Age show and a Wives show,
Randall says, “I don’t get as many high fives.”
To which Spunt adds, “More people have
been like, ‘Let’s collaborate, let’s design a
shirt together.’”
ERIC DUCKER

No Age play Dave
Young’s warehouse in
Los Angeles, CA.

Knowledge is contagious. Infect

thetruth.com

PHOTOGRAPHY RJ SHAUGHNESSY

THE FADER 97

“I STILL BELIEVE
TO THIS DAY
THAT IF YOU’RE
MY FRIEND, IT’S
FOR LIFE.”

GENF
THROUGH
THE WIRE
DANCEHALL
VETERAN
MR VEGAS DID
IT HIS WAY

T

he story of Mr Vegas is the stuff of
dancehall legend. A modest career doing
reggae covers like “Killing Me Softly” was
sidelined in the mid-’90s by a broken jawbone,
but rather than miss the chance to jump on
Jeremy Harding’s classic “Playground” riddim,
Vegas voiced “Nike Air” with his jaw wired
shut. Unable to mold his mouth around the
notes, he half-rapped Mi wan’ fi see yuh
hand inna di yeeairr… in a nasal monotone
that became the trademark on a string of
oddly addictive ’90s hits. A pitch-perfect
counterpoint to his dancehall schoolie Sean
Paul on tracks like “Hot Gal Today,” the two fell
out dramatically when the 12-inch appeared
minus Vegas’s name. “I still believe to this
day that if you’re my friend, it’s for life and no
record label or nobody can come between,”
says Vegas. “If you and me put in heart and
soul to blow a song up in Jamaica and then
it’s promoted as just you when it start takin
on wings overseas…I can’t see eye to eye
with that.” Although long since squashed, the
beef proved penny-wise and dollar-stupid for
Vegas, who disappeared from the juggling
around the time his sparring partner went
platinum.
Suddenly, however, in 2006, Vegas
transformed his status from MIA to comeback
kid with hits as wildly disparate as the sweetly
sentimental one drop “Do You Know” and the
raunchy uptempo bashment of “Hot Wuk”

(aka “Hot Fuk”). “I didn’t want to just come
back in and record a lot of songs like ‘Nike Air’
and ‘Heads High,’” Vegas says of his strategy.
“When I did [’90s throwbacks] ‘Constant
Spring’ and ‘Taxi Fare,’ people said, ‘Ok, he’s
making some noise.’ But when I said ‘Do You
Know,’ they start believing.”
Between the cover tunes, the veteran status
and the interpretation of material from all over
the dancehall map, you might legitimately
think the name “Mr Vegas” was in tribute to
Sinatra or Wayne Newton. In fact, Vegas was
named for a local strip club (for rocking shirts
in go-go dancer pink “long before pink started
wearin in Jamaica!”), but he seems to have
grown into the name’s other connotations.
“When I look at a great performer, I have
to see why them stick around for years and
years—it’s the stage show. In order for me to be
around this long I can’t come to no show an’
flop. I rock any crowd: Spanish, Japanese…I’m
just an entertainer.”
EDWIN “STATS” HOUGHTON

Mr Vegas on the street
in Kingston, JA.

PHOTOGRAPHY MARTEI KORLEY

9 8 T H E FADER

“WE LIKE TO
HAVE A DRINK
IN OUR HAND,
AYE.”

GENF
ROMANCING
THE STONED
THE JOYOUS
EXCESSES OF
THE VIEW

A

s a UK band, you know you’ve made
it when you have your own football
terrace-style chant. “The View, the View,
the View are on fire!” is the chorus that has
pursued these Scottish scallywags for the last
year as their following has snowballed—it
started with hometown evangelists, but now
practically all-comers are seduced by their
ragged, uplifting anthems. Like the Arctic
Monkeys before them, the View are scarily
fresh-faced—average age 19—and have
effectively demolished the barrier between
band and audience. The kids in the front row
are the same kids who “treasure beer cans”
and “talk of dreams, romance and excess”
throughout the View’s breathless urban hymns.
“Pretty much every one of our songs is
about our friends,” reckons deceptively
cherubic singer Kyle Falconer. “There’s no
point in racking your brains trying to come
up with a lyric that’ll change the world—if
you write about what you know best, people
will be able to relate to it.” The View learned
to play along to Oasis, Fleetwood Mac and
the White Album but, as for so many bands
of their generation, the Libertines were the
catalyst. “Other bands taught us how to play
music, but they had the attitude,” Falconer
says. Totemic Libertines frontman Pete Doherty
also influenced the View’s career rather more
directly. When he visited their hometown of
Dundee, Scotland with his post-Libs outfit

Babyshambles, the View ambushed his
tourbus; the evening ended with Doherty
playing harmonica along to their demo and
inviting them to open for him the following
night. A few weeks later, former Libertines
A&R James Endeacott made them the flagship
band of his new 1965 Records imprint.
With mentors like Doherty and legendary
drug repositories Primal Scream, it’s no
surprise that the View have attracted a
reputation for hijinks. They are named after a
local inn in which they used to rehearse, but
were banned from for racing microscooters
through the function suite and stealing beer
from the bar. Falconer also recounts tales of
the group driving cars in reverse down oneway streets and running through town in
winter wearing nothing but a Scotland-flag
thong. He is unsure as to whether the View’s
hedonistic outlook constitutes a philosophy,
but concedes, “We like to have a drink in our
hand, aye.”
Everything has happened rapidly for the
View, with the self-confessed “noise and
thrashiness” of their invigorating debut Hats
Off to the Buskers a direct result of the band
transporting its live show into the studio and
getting out again quickly in order to enjoy life
some more. “We’ll give it a bash,” Falconer
says, when pressed on his ambitions for
breaking America. “But we don’t think much
about the future.”
SAM RICHARDS

The View in New
York before their US
debut.

PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HENDERSON

1 0 0 T H E FADER

“THE FACT
THAT NAS
USED EVERY
SINGLE THING
THAT I DID
JUST MADE ME
WANNA CRY.”

GENF
THE CHAMP
CHRISETTE
MICHELE IS
ALREADY
WINNING

M

y first time through Jay-Z’s comeback
album Kingdom Come, I didn’t know
what to expect. I knew there’d be the Beyoncé
hook de rigueur, but it was the surprising,
crackled and filtered jazz vocal chorus on
“Lost Ones” that stuck out: Lost one/ Let go
to get one/ Get one/ Lose some to win some/
Story of a champion/ Sorry, I’m a champion/
Ya lost one…. I actually backed the song up
to catch the lyrics, then looked for the name
of the singer—Chrisette Michele. Turns out
Michele not only sang the hook, but also
wrote it. Soon her name popped up again
when Nas released Hip Hop is Dead—Michele
contributed songwriting to “Not Going Back,”
lyrics and vocals to “Hope,” then I noticed
her jazzing up “Still Dreaming” and “Can’t
Forget About You,” which paired her up with
a sampled Nat King Cole…. Damn! Of her
impressive run at the end of 2006, Michele
says, “As a new artist you go in and say, ‘I
hope they like me!’ and the fact that Nas used
every single thing that I did just made me
want to cry. Like, ‘Word? You sure?’”
Since a track coach handed Michele her
very first CD at age 17 in her high school
hallway, she’s been studying jazz and
pursuing a music career. Michele got turned
on to open mic nights during her time at
Five Towns College, regularly performing at
the Village Underground. Michele noticed
India.Arie in the crowd one night and took

the initiative to ask Arie to stick around to
hear her performance. Arie’s booking agent
was impressed and immediately booked the
singer for a tour alongside Kem, Angie Stone
and Arie. After the tour, Michele returned to
her open mic shows while her management
mailed out a few demos. An A&R for Def
Jam showed up at a few of the Village
Underground performances and scheduled a
meeting for Michele with LA Reid, who then
signed her on the spot.
Growing up, both of Michele’s parents were
active in their Patchogue, Long Island church.
Her mom was the choir director and her dad
played the organ and served as a deacon.
She has strong Christian values, and given
the general video vixenized tomfoolery of
the R&B industry, it seems like a frightening
step for her. But there’s no need to question
Michele’s bravery after her performances with
Nas and Jay, and to call her a gospel artist
would be missing the point—you won’t catch
her preaching through her music. “There
are enough church people in the church,”
she says. “I’m really excited to just be myself
outside those four walls.”
LINDSEY CALDWELL

Chrisette Michele
on the set of the
video shoot for Nas’s
“Can’t Forget About
You.”

R E M I X E D
AV A I L A B L E N O W E X C L U S I V E L Y T H R O U G H i T U N E S
EDITORS REMIX EP

01. CAMERA (SEBASTIAN REMIX)
02. MUNICH (GHISLAIN PORIER REMIX)
0 3 . A L L S PA R K S ( P R I N C E L A N G UAG E R E M I X )
04. BLOOD (P NICE REMIX)

ALSO AVAILABLE
THE BACK ROOM

K E E P C H E C K I N G W W W. E D I T O R S U S . C O M F O R U P D AT E S O N T H E B A N D
AND LOOK OUT FOR ANOTHER AMAZING ALBUM IN 2007
PHOTOGRAPHY KRISANNE JOHNSON

1 02 T H E FADER

editorsofficial.com

editorsus.com

myspace.com/editorsmusic

kitchenwarerecords.com

TAKE EVERYTHING YOU LOVE ABOUT
TECHNOLOGY AND MULTIPLY IT.
TAKE THE FUN, THE GAMES, THE CURIOSITY,
THE EXPLORATION, THE CREATIVITY, THE EXCITEMENT,
THE PROGRESS, THE LEARNING, AND THE PASSION…
AND AMPLIFY IT.
NOW TAKE EVERYTHING YOU DON’T LIKE –
THE LAG TIMES, THE LOCK UPS, THE STUTTERSTEPS…
AND DELETE IT.
IT’S A NEW WAY OF COMPUTING.
IN FACT, IT’S COMPUTING THE WAY IT WAS MEANT TO BE.
INTRODUCING INTEL® CORE™2 DUO. Intel’s new Core™2 Duo desktop processor
multiplies everything you and your music can do. Now you can experience performance up to 40%
faster and over 40% more energy efcient – it’s about enjoying your music any way you choose.
Learn why at intel.com/core2duo
P erformance based on SPECint*_rate_base2000 (2 copies) and energy efficiency based on Thermal Design Power (TDP), comparing Intel® Core™2 Duo E6700 to Intel® Pentium® D Processor 960. Actual performance
may vary. See www.intel.com/performance for more information. ©2006 Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, Intel Core, the Intel Core logo, Intel. Leap ahead., and the Intel. Leap ahead. logo are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All rights reserved.

SPRING ETERNAL

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony•Gang Gang Dance•The Chinese Beat•DC Capitol Rap

1 0 6 T H E FADER

•Explosions In The Sky•Mind-Swapping Collaborators•Bombay Street Style

THE FADER 107

Resurrecting Bone Thugs-N-Harmony

S
P
I
RI
T
U
A
L
I
S
T
S

THE

STO RY E R I C D U C K E R

P H O T O G R A P H Y J A S O N N O C I TO

BONE THUGS-N-HARMONY

A

pril Love
met Bone Thugs-N-Harmony out in LA
in ’94 and started doing their hair shortly
thereafter. Her first gig was a music video whose
name she can’t remember, but based on the vague
details she gives, it was probably “East 1999” from their
first full-length E 1999 Eternal. The shoot went late,
of course, and Bone Thugs had to get to New York for
an awards show. With paper maché or some shit still
in their hair, they convinced Love to come with them
across the country in a private plane. The morning after
the ceremony, Love woke up and all the management
folks she had been dealing with were gone and had
been replaced with a new crew for their tour that was
about to start. When she tried to get a ticket back to
California they told her she couldn’t leave them and
gave her $1000 to go shopping for clothes. She ended
up on the road for eight weeks. “Every time I wanted to
go home they started throwing money at me,” she says.
Since then Love has been in charge of braiding, fro-ing,
combing out, blow drying and ponytailing the members
of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s hair, even though private
planes and endless cashflow are no longer their reality.
In the mid-’90s the Cleveland-born quartet of Krayzie
Bone, Layzie Bone, Bizzy Bone and Wish Bone were one
of the biggest and weirdest acts in hip-hop, if not in all
of popular music. They were four skinny boys who made
their corner of E 99 & St Clair sound like the gateway
to hell and brought a horse drawn carriage on stage at
the MTV Video Music Awards. Rap was just beginning to
realize that all its stars might not come from the coasts
and some shots had already been fired from Chicago
and Flint, but no one expected that the Midwest would
claim its place through the gloom of Cleveland. With
their long hair and ill-fitting Indians gear, Bone Thugs
looked like more countrified versions of Compton and
East Oakland’s street reporters, yet in their lyrics they
Krayzie Bone’s frequent
guest verse work allows
younger groups to pay
homage to Bone Thugs.

1 1 0 T H E FADER

BONE THUGS-N-HA R M O N Y

added an element of morbid spirituality that mixed
the traditions of black Christianity with the occult. “Mr
Ouija” from their 1994 debut EP Creepin on Ah Come Up
is darkside doo-wop where the harmonized plea to their
version of Mr Sandman is not for some lollipop dream,
but to tell them how they’ll meet their maker. Then they
blast the old “Name Game Song” full of holes: Murdermurder-mo-murder, mo-murder-murder-mo-murder,
mo-murder-murder-mo-murder, mo-murder-murder-momurder, mo-murder, mo-murder, mo-murder….
A decade later, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is down to
the trio of Krayzie and the cousins Layzie and Wish.
Flesh-N-Bone, the unofficial fifth member and Layzie’s
brother, has been serving a ten year prison sentence for
armed assault since 2000, with the possibility of parole
in 2008. The troubled Bizzy has other issues he’s dealing
with and is estranged from the group. This spring brings
their seventh album Strength in Loyalty, the first release
on producer Swizz Beatz’s Full Surface imprint, a new
venture backed by Interscope.
Second chances for rappers don’t come often, especially
not with the support of one of the music industry’s
most successful labels. Former Goodie Mob member
Cee-Lo recently caught another break with Gnarls Barkley,
but he was aided by luck, Danger Mouse’s quirky
understanding of the modern pop landscape and the fact
that most of Gnarls’s fans hadn’t heard of him the first
time around. As for Flavor Flav’s resurgence…it’s best
not to think about it too much unless you want to bum
yourself out.
During the making of Strength in Loyalty, Bone Thugs
were party to how hip-hop albums are now put together
on major labels. In the past the group mainly stuck to a
single producer for the duration and kept features to a
minimum, but for these sessions big name beatmakers
and guest vocalists were piled on: Akon, Will.i.am, Cool
& Dre, former rivals Three 6 Mafia, Twista (who they also
once beefed with), the Game, Jermaine Dupri, frequent
collaborator and style disciple Mariah Carey, Big Boi,
Kelly Rowland and others. They’ve also worked with
unproven producers like the Platinum Brothers and Swizz
Beatz protégé Neo da Matrix, as well as indulged some
of their stranger tendencies—like recording a song based
around a sample of Fleetwood Mac’s soft rock triumph
“The Chain” and another that features Tupac Shakur’s
furious rantings played continuously in the background.
For Strength in Loyalty, they finished close to 100 songs
and at press time it was unclear which ones would make
the final tracklist.
Under these circumstances, the recording process seems
impersonal, but recognizing the opportunity they had,
the members of Bone Thugs say this album made them
“The rap game is real hard
right now, not just for people
trying to get in it, but for
people that’s in it,” says
Wish Bone.

BONE THUGS-N-HA R M O N Y

tighter than they’d been in years. “We became
close family again,” says Layzie Bone, the most
forthcoming member of the group. “We lived
together. Everyone had different condos in the
same apartment complex, so you know, we’d
go down the hall, cook eggs at a nigga’s house.
Everyone would come up with a chorus line at
night, wake up and go to the studio together.”
When they were coming up, Cleveland was
an R&B city dominated by Gerald LeVert. All
the members of Bone Thugs started off as
singers, but converted to hip-hop at a young
age. Cleveland was also a city still struggling
with the fallout of the crack epidemic. “All
that religion that was going on in the family
and the strength and the black unity, it really
broke down,” says Layzie. “My mom and
damn near all my aunts and uncles, all them
motherfuckers was pimps, and right after Big
Ma and Pop Pop and Gram Gram died, shit just
went to Hades. Motherfuckers ran down the
house everyone grew up in. Average hood shit,
average life.” Like many, Bone Thugs identified
with NWA’s inner city misery tales about life in
Los Angeles, but they took the devotion even
deeper by using a single verse as the jump-off
point for their idiosyncratic style. “We heard
MC Ren flipping over the beat really hard one
time and it just stuck with us,” says Wish Bone.
“We started speeding up and before we knew
it we was doing something new and we didn’t
even recognize it no more. We didn’t even
know it was that different because we was so
secluded with each other.”
The signature Bone Thugs flow is a highly
articulated fast rap that they unexpectedly
accelerate or downshift at will. Syllables pop,
ping, internally combust and sometimes float

off into a full on croon. On “Body Rott” from
The Art of War, Krayzie nimbly click clacks their
outlook on life: We paper chase and smoke
blunts/ You’ll never find a thuggish bunch of
niggas like us/ Don’t be so quick to test us/
I’ll be annoyed and might bust/ I’ma have to
talk to Eaz-eeeeee/ Through the ouij-eeeeee/
So I can see if maybe he can tell me why you
hatin’ on meeeeee/ Bitin’ on meeeeee/ Why you
want meeeeee/ To show a nigga Leatherface
in meeeeee.
The group caught its first break when,
following the splintering of NWA, Eazy-E saw
the possibilities in Bone Thugs—after they had
taken two cross-country Greyhound bus rides
seeking his attention—and signed them to his
label Ruthless Records. He then bought them
one more set of Greyhound tickets to come
out and record in Los Angeles. “We stayed
in so many damn hotels, we stayed in every
hotel in LA. We got kicked out of every last
one of them,” says Krayzie Bone of those early
days. “E finally said, ‘I gotta get y’all a house.
Y’all need your own space.’ We got kicked out
of that motherfucker too. Back then we was
wild, we was like straight off the streets and
we wasn’t understanding nothing about the
game.”
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony became rap stars
off the success of songs “Thuggish Ruggish
Bone,” “For the Love of Money” and “1st of tha
Month,” but they didn’t become pop stars until
the summer of ’96, when they scored what
was possibly the most unexpected hit since
the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under the Bridge.”
Eazy-E died of AIDS shortly before the release
of E 1999 Eternal and, almost a year later, Bone
Thugs redid “Tha Crossroads”—a song from

E 1999 that had previously been dedicated to
their friend Big Wally—in tribute to Eazy and
everyone else they knew who had passed.
Their outlook had always been obsessed
with coffins and who was filling them, but
with the remix of “Tha Crossroads” they
became pallbearers, shepherding the dead
to the other side. While other rappers started
wearing suits to play mafia, Bone Thugs
wore them because they were in mourning.
Their ties to the afterlife persisted through
their collaborations with 2pac for “Thug
Luv” and the Notorious BIG on “Notorious
Thugs,” which made them the only artists to
collaborate with rap’s two slain gods when
they were both still living.
Though Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s profile
declined after 1997’s double album follow-up
The Art of War, Strength in Loyalty is not a
reunion album. Bone Thugs have consistently
put out music since Creepin on Ah Come Up,
even if the music itself hasn’t always been
consistent. The present trio even spit out the
album Thug Stories on Koch in June of 2006
and Krayzie Bone has had cameos on highprofile problem starters including Lil Jon’s “I
Don’t Give a Fuck” and Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’
Dirty.” “We still here, handsome, healthy. The
thing was we had to grow up,” says Layzie.
“We been together since we was 12. We
basically raised each other. So when niggas
started having children and different business
aspirations, we had to grow our own ways. It
wasn’t losing our way, it was finding our way.”
In finding their own ways, the three
members of Bone Thugs now primarily live in
three different cities—Layzie in Atlanta, Wish in
Cleveland and Krayzie in Los Angeles—though

“We basically raised each other.
So when niggas started having children
aspirations,
we had to grow
1 1 4 T H E FADER

they still regularly tour with each other. While
this lifestyle pays the bills, it doesn’t sit well
with everyone. “Our families be like, ‘Why y’all
get to be together so much?’” says Layzie.
“Our kids are like, ‘What’s up nigga? Can I go
on the road?’”
The group had been searching for a new
label in 2005, but without Bizzy Bone’s highpitched whisp haunting their songs, they
weren’t finding the right takers. Then they
heard that Swizz Beatz had expressed interest
in them. In the late ’90s Swizz made his name
with slabs of avant digital menace for the Ruff
Ryders camp that somehow managed to find
mainstream appeal. In the following years, he
has continued to produce panicky East Coast
bangers for hip-hop and pop artists including
TI, Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z, Beyoncé and JoJo.
Although it is dark and hellish in its own
way, his music is far from Bone Thugs’ usual
stalking, gothic style. Still, Swizz considers
himself a longtime fan of the group and
recognized the following they still have. “Bone
is damn near a cult,” he says. “You should see
how these people come out to shows without
them having new hits. When you ain’t got no
hits, you see who your real fans are. They have
people supporting them with Bone tattoos and
everything and no hits out.”
Bizzy has left and returned to the group
numerous times during their long history. Over
the years there have been reports of religious
awakenings, him being too drunk to perform
at shows and a childhood history that involved
kidnapping and possible molestation. In April
of 2005 the realities of Bizzy’s emotional state
became more widely known after his brief,
downloadable appearance on the Damage

Control radio show on KPFT in Houston hit
the rap gossip links network. In the difficult
to follow segment, Bizzy raved like a street
preacher and finished off thoughts by dropping
his voice into a conflated impression of a
demon and a professional wrestler. He alluded
to currently being homeless and spending
time in the bus station. Asked about what
happened to the money he should have made
from his past success, Bizzy replied, “When
you look at blowing up and you look at the
different things, once you get to the physical
realm of it, and once you start looking at that
like that, that’s why you stay in the streets,
that’s why you stay in the hood, that’s why you
stay around the people that ain’t got nothing,
because they ain’t got nothing to say but
loooooooooooove.”
Layzie and Bizzy had reconciled previous
problems long enough for the duo to make
2005’s Bone Brothers album, but when Bizzy
missed a series of tourdates to promote the
project, the static returned. Layzie said he
was willing to reconcile again with Bizzy for
the sake of the Full Surface deal and the
group’s management even brought in DMC
of Run DMC to help mediate the process of
him coming back, but Bizzy wouldn’t commit.
“Bizzy basically made that decision himself,”
says Krayzie. “We went down to the wire. We
tried to have him involved, he said he was
involved, but at the last minute he chose not
to.” Requests to get Bizzy to comment for
this article weren’t answered, but the group
maintains that a full reunion is still not out of
the question. “People be mad at us like, ‘Why
the hell did we kick [Bizzy] out the group?’
when it ain’t like that,” says Layzie. “He chose

and different business
our own ways.”

—LAYZIE BONE

not to, saying at the time that he had another
purpose in life, so we respected that. This dude
could come back home any time he wants to.”
To convince Swizz they were still worth
signing, the three remaining members came to
New York to work with him for a week, banging
out almost 20 songs. In the end it was their
work ethic that most impressed him. “They
didn’t want to fly in first class, they didn’t
want no hotel like that, they didn’t want no car
service to the studio,” says Swizz. “They was
just the epitome of what a group should be,
and they sold millions and millions of records.
I had to respect that.”
For all the bleakness that exists in the music
of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, the possibility for
redemption has always existed inside of it.
On the intro to Creepin on Ah Come Up, the
first sound is vocals played backwards, the
persisting musical shorthand for satanic
messages. But flipping the clip in reverse reveals
that the message is actually the beginning
of the Lord’s Prayer: Our Father who art in
heaven…. Sitting with Wish Bone, a man who
has the grim reaper tattooed on one arm
and a skull on the other, I asked him what he
thought the main themes that defined their
work were. “Basically, love and truthfulness
through our music,” he replied. The interview
was soon over and Wish had April Love braid
his hair before his redeye flight back to
Cleveland. Nursing Miller Genuine Drafts, Layzie
played a video game of Family Feud on his
laptop while Krayzie read the script for the
movie they plan to star in and release with
Strength in Loyalty. The only time they needed
to talk to each other was when they asked to
borrow a lighter. &

Somehow, in the middle of an ultra-square
new New York, Gang Gang Dance is
slowly closing in on the perfect global beat

F
U
T
UR
E
P
E
R
F
E
C
T
STO RY W I L L W E LC H

P H O T O G R A P H Y J A S O N N O C I TO

GANG GANG DANCE

“I started meeting thugged out house producers and thugged

out gay dancers and everyone was just rocking out and

N

ot too long ago, a self-styled downtown
New York legend was quoted in the New York Times Magazine in
an article about streetwear as saying, “I’m so downtown I don’t
go above Canal Street.” It was a hilarious and surprisingly subtle
moment for the Times, a paper that would often have you believe
that, because of rising rents and changing neighborhoods, the
loose scene that is generally known as downtown New York moved
to Williamsburg, Brooklyn in the early ’00s and onwards and
outwards from there—to Greenpoint, Bushwick, Long Island City,
Red Hook and even to East New York. But what the “Canal Street”
comment touches on is that, really, the heart of “downtown”
has stayed put. The Lower East Side—condos, hotels and all—is
still the cultural epicenter of the now-sprawling, multi-borough
downtown grid, which means not only that the outer boroughs
tend to choose you, but also that downtown, like the cost of living,
has grown up.
At a recent photo shoot, Lizzi Bougatsos of the New York-based
band Gang Gang Dance got an eyeliner pen out of her bag and
wrote “212” on the cheekbone of her bandmate Brian DeGraw.
When asked half-jokingly about it a week later, DeGraw offered
a mostly musical explanation, saying, “That ‘Brooklyn band’ tag
is something that we don’t want to be associated with because
it’s become this pigeonhole label—it’s like a genre of weirdo
music: ‘Brooklyn noise, blah blah blah, fuckin knob tweakers.’
I’ve never considered Gang Gang to be a part of that. I guess
our friends are partly responsible for the creation of that thing,
which is cool, but we’ve always just lived on the Lower East Side.”
Although DeGraw’s intention was to demand a certain amount of
factual correctness and perhaps respect for Gang Gang Dance’s
trajectory as a New York band, there is also a status claim of
sorts buried in there. Gang Gang Dance isn’t just not a band of
nouveaux weird-for-weird’s sake knob twiddlers. It is also, more
importantly, a Manhattan band born out of the final throes of one
era of downtown New York that is now awkwardly, finally maturing
in another era of downtown entirely. It has proven to be a grueling
position to occupy.
Vocalist and percussionist Lizzi Bougatsos, keyboardist and
electronic percussionist Brian DeGraw, guitarist Josh Diamond
and drummer Tim DeWit formally created Gang Gang Dance in
the early 2000s. Their first release Gang Gang Dance came out
on a label called Fusetron, then they released an LP (Revival of
the Shittest) and an EP (Hillulah) on the Brooklyn-based label
the Social Registry. Finally, their semi-breakthrough album God’s

I was the one playing drums and there were dancers hanging
this white dude, but slowly I started to win them over and they

Money came out on the Social Registry in 2005. God’s Money
was the first recording that reflected what the band’s sound has
become, born of a tension between tumultuous world-futurism
abstractions and a dirty, rhythm-heavy sound that knocks. The
band’s bizarre musical vocabulary definitely takes some getting
used to, but the rewards are one of a kind—frantic, cornerbending, electro-acoustic rhythms and lush, left-hook melodies.
Gang Gang is hyper-aware of the breadth of music bubbling
out of all corners of the earth not just in eras past but also right
now, and each band member has an active relationship to big
swathes of sounds. It is evident if you go hear DeGraw DJ at the
wildly popular Morrissey party at Sway on Sunday nights, where
he sandwiches all manner of hectic electronic and street music
between his DJ partner Benjamin Cho’s plays of “Shoplifters of the
World Unite” and “The Boy With the Arab Strap.” And his band is
actually pulling from all those sounds: from the skittering clomps
of grime, the quavering vocal lines of Hindi film music, the slick
club bounce of hip-hop, the pillow-y synthetics of new age and the
frantic booms and one-hand keyboard twinkles of dancehall. But
even before all that, Gang Gang Dance’s story is a New York story,
beginning with the fact that, like much of New York, none of the
four band members are from the city.
Bougatsos is from Long Island where, as a kid, she devoted
herself to modern dance, then moved to West Virginia for an art
degree and earned a reputation opening for punk bands with
spoken word performance art. Diamond had a high school band
in State College, Pennsylvania, moved to DC for a year, then
moved to New York in 1995, where he worked at the Pink Pony
on Ludlow Street, hosting avant jam sessions, playing violin and
supplying then-broke downtowners with free caffeine. DeWit grew
up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was an indie rock singersongwriter. After high school—inspired by Teen Beat records—he
moved to DC. DeGraw grew up a New Haven hardcore kid who
ended up at Corcoran College of Art + Design in DC because Nation
of Ulysses was from Washington. He enrolled to study fashion
photography, but his two favorite professors told him to leave.
Art school, they said, is for people who want to learn how to be
artists, not for those who already are.
Josh Diamond had left DC by the time Brian DeGraw and Tim
DeWit arrived there separately, but the magnetic pull of the capitol
as an imagined underground utopia for an entire generation

Opening spread: Brian
DeGraw. This spread: “There’s
no formula for what we do,”
says Tim DeWit. “Ultimately
that’s the biggest problem.”

off poles and lesbian MCs who hated my guts because I was
were in my face freestyling like, ‘Uh! Keep it tight!’”

—TIM DEWIT

GANG GANG DANC E

of kids who grew up on hardcore is essential to the current
American underground musical landscape in general, and to
Gang Gang Dance in particular. Although DeGraw and DeWit
met and eventually moved into the Embassy, the group house
that was founded by Nation of Ulysees in DC’s Mount Pleasant
neighborhood, both skim over their arrival at a punk rock mecca in
the mid-’90s and instead focus on their discovery of other cultures
there. “There’s nothing to do in DC, so everyone just spent all
their time learning about different kinds of music,” DeGraw says.
“Because of the Ethiopian side of the neighborhood that we
lived in, Ethiopian music was obviously the main thing that we
could physically access.” DeWit, meanwhile, initially moved into
a predominately black DC neighborhood while working a job at
Tower Records. He had never so much as heard hip-hop before,
but was suddenly immersed in black culture, smoking weed for
the first time, getting exposed to hip-hop, jungle, trip-hop and gogo and generally bugging out.
As the cultural fabric of Washington DC began to rearrange
DeGraw and DeWit’s musical imaginations, DeGraw
simultaneously talked his friend Jim Loman into moving to DC,
where the trio linked up with guitarist Raquel Vogl and formed the
Crainium. Loman not only implemented a sort of punk-feminist
manifesto for the band, but also enforced a schedule of hyperregimented practices. Soon they were touring and recording an
album produced by Guy Picciotto from Fugazi. “Basically the
process taught us discipline,” DeWit says of the Crainium. “And
I transformed so much during that time that I stopped doing any
sort of drugs or drinking or having sex. I was looking for some
new gender in this new…it was this crazy artsy weird kid shit, and
music was the sacred thing.” Although DeWit remained in the
Crainium, he increasingly recognized his detachment from the DC
punk community. “Through those realizations of myself,” DeWit
says, “I started to play music with free jazz guys that had kicked
heroin and been in Vietnam and they were just blowing their horns
and feeding off my energy, then I would go to Crainium practice
and then I also got involved in this theater group.” The theater
group was named Vashti, after the woman who refused to undress
for the king in the Bible’s book of Esther. “I started meeting
thugged out house producers and thugged out gay dancers and
having these jam sessions,” DeWit continues. “Everyone was
just rocking out and I was the one playing drums and there were
dancers hanging off poles and lesbian MCs who hated my guts
because I was this white dude, but slowly I started to win them
over and they were in my face freestyling like, ‘Uh! Keep it tight!’
I’m getting goose bumps just thinking about it, you know? That
felt so much more revolutionary than being in this obscure avant
punk band.”
When that avant punk band eventually dissolved, DeGraw
began considering a move to New York where he could maybe
show his visual art at real galleries, and eventually DeWit and
Loman made the move with him. Soon DeGraw and DeWit were
going to art and fashion parties and performing informally with
various collaborators including Bougatsos, who had continued
to do performance art and sing, and Diamond. At some point
DeGraw and DeWit found a rehearsal space, and it happened to
be shared by Animal Collective and Black Dice. “Those guys were
a huge influence,” DeWit says. “They were younger than us and

Lizzie Bougatsos’s bandmates
often refer to her as LZA, after
the Wu-Tang’s RZA, one of her
heroes.

1 2 0 T H E FADER

THE FADER 121

GANG GANG DANCE

“We played Oberlin on a tour and every kid was like, ‘I’m
they were big Crainium fans, but it was crazy to go to that practice
space where we would all jam together—this crazy, psychedelic,
break-down-any-kind-of-form shit. We were kind of like, We want
to make this experiential music too. That’s when Liz and Josh
got on board, because both of them could just go for it.” At the
time, Gang Gang’s lineup also included a sort of freestyle multiinstrumentalist/performer called Nathan Livingston Maddox. In
2002, Maddox was watching a storm on the roof of a building on
Broome St and was suddenly struck by lightening and killed. His
death was a massive jolt for the band, but also, eventually, an
inspiration. “It started a momentum, I guess,” DeWit says. “We
knew we had to respond to that somehow, and we wanted to be
more direct. It was like, ‘That’s what dying looks like—we don’t
want to do that yet.’”
Although Gang Gang Dance is, as the band insists, a Manhattan
band, Josh Diamond lives in a bleak corner of Williamsburg,
Brooklyn that’s cut off from the subway stops, the new eateries
and the Tasty D-Lite franchise by the elevated menace of the
Bronx-Queens Expressway. “I’ve been in New York for 11 years,
but I feel really bad for the youth that come here now,” Diamond
says. “I’m kind of in hell in some ways—I equate Brooklyn and
this community in some ways with hell just because of what I
experienced when I was like 19 years old in the Lower East Side.
It was a magical time. Seventy-year-old artists hanging out with
young people and real fucking freaks. I came here to witness the
death of the ’80s New York scene, and now I feel so bad for all
these people. We played Oberlin on a tour and every kid was like,
‘I’m moving to Williamsburg!’ and it was like, ‘Oh great—good
luck!’ I’m living the same way I was living 11 years ago, and I
don’t really feel very good about that. People move here with big
dreams all the time, but I don’t know what they’re looking for.”
Even if most of the kids now moving to Williamsburg, Bushwick
and Long Island City don’t know what their specific dream is, what
they’re probably looking for is the feeling that Diamond found at
the Pink Pony and DeWit found in DC with Vashti. If Gang Gang
Dance has one foot in a different era of New York City, in many
ways it’s because they have that old school, madcap energy—the
love of spontaneity, diversity, impulsive collaboration; the desire
to play a gig one night, to sit in with friends the next, to help a
friend prepare for a fashion show in a week and to have an art
show coming up in a month. From the beginning it has been
Gang Gang’s blessing and its curse that each of its members are
involved in projects outside of the band—it’s almost as though
Gang Gang only exists when its four unique elements are in
the same place and begin to react and combust. But the band
hasn’t figured out how to be both extremely spontaneous and
extremely focused. After the early albums, the band made a huge
When he’s not working at a
nearby bar, Josh Diamond
prefers to stay home.

moving to Williamsburg!’ and it was like, ‘Oh great—

leap forward with God’s Money, yet Gang Gang is still struggling
to deliver on the expectations. In the last ten months, the band
has spent four weeks sporadically in recording studios, shaping
the next album, but everything they’ve recorded is just sitting on
DeWit’s computer. Every night he listens through it on his
headphones until four, five, six in the morning, but he’s got almost
none of the tools (you can’t mix a record on headphones), only
some of the know-how and none of the money. There’s tons of
incredible material—you can hear the band reaching towards a
fully realized sound that combines the messy, transcendent live
quality of four musicians jamming in a room together with the
crisp, thumping whomp of speakerboxxx beats. But how they can
make a record out of all that tape is unclear. In the meantime, the
Social Registry is releasing a Gang Gang Dance DVD/CD package
called Retina Riddim that was created entirely by DeGraw using
the video editing program Final Cut. Armed with tour video he
recorded on an amateur camera, DeGraw created an art film
collage and an accompanying 25-minute audio piece that he built
using isolated scraps of footage as building blocks. It is not the
work that fulfills the band’s potential, nor is it meant to be. It is
another beguiling addition to the group’s diverse repertoire.
There are plenty of examples of New York musician/artists who
were around-the-way local figures that, at some point, stopped
doing a little of everything that interested them and poured all
their efforts into one project. Some of them have sold a staggering
amount of records. Gang Gang Dance is not on that track. The
band is talking to bigger labels than the Social Registry, and
Brian DeGraw absolutely means it when he says, “We started
something, and we gotta fuckin finish it.” But there’s no question
that Gang Gang will always be a weird, difficult listen, and DeGraw
states clearly that he will continue to do everything—the band,
the visual art, the DJing—without finally picking one or the other.
“It’s not the easiest thing in the world, but I think it’s all become
a unified thing like a whirlpool,” he says. “The more I stick with
it, the more I realize that it’s all swirling in on itself and becoming
one greater thing.” The concept for the solo art show he’s been
working on, for instance, came from realizations he had while
DJing, and DJing is an extension of listening to a ton of music and
playing in Gang Gang. The idea is to think in a global rather than
local context—to try to explode ideas of genre. Within the Gang
Gang framework, DeGraw and his bandmates are getting there—
pushing further out by collapsing more and more of the world
and their ever-farther-reaching experiences of it into their sounds.
Somehow the music is simultaneously becoming an increasingly
singular vision with an ever more centered, almost primordial
rhythm at its heart. But even if the band never makes an album
that turns the quartet into something bigger than a New York
band, it’s already a landscape much bigger than New York that
Gang Gang Dance is concerned with. “We’re basically concerned
about World War III,” says DeWit. “I think our music, to me, is some
weird way of acknowledging people that I can’t even hear.” &

good luck!’ I’m living the same way I was living 11 years

ago, and I don’t really feel very good about that.”

—JOSH DIAMOND

THE
CHIN ESE
B EAT
Millenial Beijing and the lost art of rock & roll

STO RY ALEX WAGNER PHOTOGRAPHY ARIANA LINDQUIST

124 THE FADER

On a warm Saturday at the end of last
year, a fine, cantaloupe-colored haze
settled on Beijing. One professor at the
city university insisted it was a natural fog
that periodically blanketed the city, a fluke
weather phenomenon. A local resident
shrugged and said, “They must have
turned the factories back on today.” A tour
through Beijing the week prior showed
posters hung all over town for the Forum
on China-Africa Cooperation, a two-day
summit dedicated to the economic
partnerships between China and the
African nations, including war-torn Sudan,
Uganda and Rwanda. The photograph
showed two hands in prayer: one white
(Chinese) and one black (African). Another
resident explained that the previously
clear weather was probably the result
of the government shutting off the local
factories for the week of the convention—
to improve the Beijing air quality, or at
least the visiting dignitaries’ impression
of it—an Orwellian whitewash for an
unsavory example of global financing,
circa 2006. Some 70 percent of Beijing’s
energy continues to come from burning
coal—meaning that for someone else,
somewhere else, on some different day
of the week, there’s sure to be another
gauzy day of filthy air.
At the start of the 21st Century, China
has shown that it will take even the most
unsavory john home for the night if it’s a
chance for fast cash; it will accordingly
pimp its own resources for a cheap power
high. Though shaking hands with despots
might leave a greasy sludge on the soul of
a country, China moves forward, upward,
inwards with shameless, alarming speed—
its shoddy, modern skyline dotted with
complexes that name themselves after
New York City neighborhoods: NoLIta,
SoHo and Central Park are all to be found
in Beijing, slapdash recreations of caché
even more disposable than the Vegas
version of the Empire State. If you have
the money, a one-bedroom apartment
in one of Beijing’s better neighborhoods
can run you upwards of $2000 a month,
happily in-step with any given Wednesday
morning apartment listing on Craigslist
Manhattan. There are Starbucks that have
metastasized all over the city before there
were even independent coffeehouses to
protest their own marginalization.
Embracing capitalism has been very
good for China, and a very good lesson
for the rest of the world. Responsible
governance—the thin (and ever thinning)
veil worn by Western brides—is not a
priority in the People’s Republic, and
the world’s most populist country has
only paved the way for others like it
to stomp as they please. Yet China is
also fundamentally and unrelentingly
Communist, and will make a show of
regulating, punishing, censoring anyone

T H E FAD E R 125

BEIJING ROCK

or anything deemed too challenging to the fine balance
between Western capital and State dictates. Starbucks
extra hot venti green tea lattes in Beijing’s SoHo may be
some mindfucked version of Eastern-Western-Eastern
globalization—but the Chinese government can still
threaten to arrest you if you sell Bright Eyes mp3s
without government approval.
D-22 is a small music club in the northwestern section
of Beijing, squarely situated in the city’s University
district. Its sweaty stage is packed into the back of an
even sweatier room, surrounded by tables and chairs
and framed by an upstairs area of dubious plywood
construction, meaning you’re probably better off standing
on top of it than beneath it. It rings with local good vibes
that feel a lot like someplace in Greenpoint, Brooklyn,
only the cheap beer is Tsingtao, not Pabst, and the
music is conspicuously less influenced by, like, Can or
Cerrone. Micheal Pettis, an ex-financial whiz from New
York, founded the club a few years ago with an eye
towards nurturing local talent and fostering an honestto-goodness Chinese underground music scene, which
is to say that sinophiles with blogs and Western music
magazine-types are welcome, but the door price might be
slightly friendlier if you’re a senior at Beijing U. The night
that local band Joyside was playing, there were Chinese
kids with bangs and piano key-patterned belts, a lot of
fucked-up Converse high tops and one dude with long
dreadlocks and a backpack, all of which would engender
a kind of Holy shit this is fucking China?! to those relying
on staler, grayer versions of modern Beijing. Shang
Huan Huan, Joyside’s lead singer, was on stage playing
a slightly overcoiffed version of garage rock, thrashing
around in a pair of leather pants as the audience nodded
its collective head with pleasant blasé that seemed
almost New Yorkian in its posture. Joyside’s most recent
EP, Bitches of Rock n’ Roll includes the surprisingly
poppy songs “Eat Me,” “Hey Bitch,” and “My Eyes Pissed
Again,” but that evening, Shang chose to end their set
with a cover of the Contours’ “Do You Love Me?” With the
exception of some very successful New Jersey weddings
at the shore, it was probably one of the more heartfelt,
raucous versions of Corny Love Song ever performed—
the Contours would have been confused and proud.
The current indie music world in Beijing is dominated
by a handful of bands—ones that have been in existence
mostly since the beginning of 2000 and have achieved
various (moderate) levels of success. PK-14, one of the
city’s most popular groups—a post-punk outfit fronted by
33-year-old Yang Haisong—began almost 10 years ago.
Yang has a gentle, thoughtful air, capped off with Buddy
Holly glasses and perfectly faded blue jeans that stand
in contrast to the faux punk studdery and bleached tips
sported by much of his imitative Beijing punk brethren.
About seven years ago, Johnny Leijonhufvud (originally
from Stockholm, Sweden) joined the band, opening
up tour possibilities for the group: PK-14’s tour roster
In recent years, Beijing’s
music scene has witnessed
the birth of micro genres from
Scandinavian black metal to
Floridian death metal.

BEIJING ROCK

shows gigs in Northern Europe, Vienna and all over the
Chinese countryside.
PK 14’s onetime drummer, Hua Dong, has since
gone on to acclaim as the lead singer in the band Reestablishing the Rights of Statues, or Re-TROS, which
features a familiar brand of dark, angular rock, akin
to much of the new-New Wave rock that first began
appearing in New York and London in the early 2000s.
One of the most acclaimed underground acts in Beijing,
the band’s latest album Cut It Off, features Brian Eno on
keyboards; the band will embark on their first US tour
this spring. Re-TROS spent much of 2006’s winter holed
up in an old factory-turned-loft at the edge of the city,
writing material for the next album, but sometime in
mid-November, the band turned up at a last-minute label
showcase at 2 Kolegas. A music club at the Northeastern
edge of the city, 2 Kolegas (oddly, a version of the
Spanish for “Two Colleagues”) is situated next door to a
drive-in theatre that is widely acknowledged to double
as a stomping grounds for prostitutes and their clientele.
The night of Re-TROS’s show, someone in the audience
cautioned against drinking the whiskey: the rumor is that
much of the liquor in Beijing’s smaller bars is bootleg and
likely to make you sick or blind. No one paid attention
and everyone got very drunk instead. As is their custom,
Hua spent the whole show facing his bassist (and
girlfriend) Liu Min, their backs almost (but not quite)
turned away from the audience throughout their somber,
feedback-heavy, shredding set—miles away from the
Contours and anyone else.

T

Given China’s seemingly misanthropic cultural landscape
(repression of free speech, attempted censorship of all
non-government sanctioned materials, wild embrace of
Korean pop music), many oversensationalize the very
existence of Beijing’s underground scene with a refrain
that goes something like In the shadows of Communism,
these rock musicians are the bastard children of
Democracy—as if the secret bootlegging of Interpol
albums is in some way a middle finger to the heavy hand
of the State. In truth, Yang Haisong, PK 14’s lead singer,
just bought a rare John Frusciante/Joe Lally album from
his local CD store—one that sells “cut” CDs (deemed
factory rejects as a result of overproduction) that are
otherwise illegal to sell in other countries. The Chinese
government makes very public decrees about regulating
music downloads on the internet and sanctioning CDs
and films (officially there are 20 Western movies allowed
screening rights in China each year) but the reality of
a country with 1.3 billion people and an impossibly
massive pirate industry looks a lot less stark. Kaiser
Kuo, ex-bassist for one-time Chinese metal legends
Tang Dynasty, explains, “My wife just watched the latest
season of Grey’s Anatomy. I just watched season three of
Deadwood. You can buy fucking anything.’’
Government censorship of lyrics, one of the timeworn
themes in Chinese rock mythology, no longer really exists
except for the most high profile artists. Singer Cui Jian,
who most acknowledge to be the most Dylan-like figure

PK-14 jams a show
at 2 Kolegas.

128 THE FADER

T H E FAD E R 129

Bitches of Rock n’ Roll includes the

surprisingly poppy songs “Eat Me,”

“Hey Bitch,” and “My Eyes Pissed

Again,” but that evening, Shang chose

to end their set with a cover of the

Contours’ “Do You Love Me?”

BEIJING ROCK

in the country (both in terms of musical significance
and over-referenced signpost) has been very publicly
censored for his anti-government lyrics; Jian’s debut was
shortly after the demonstrations at Tiananmen Square.
Though Jay-Z was forced to cancel a recent concert
in Shanghai when the government deemed his lyrics
“too vulgar,” word on the street was that the promoter
couldn’t sell enough tickets and this was his way of
saving face. In fact, Re-TROS has a song called “TV Show
(Hang the Police)” that they’ve released and sold on CD
through their Chinese indie label, Modern Sky. And it’s
a toss up whether a song called “Big Pimpin” is more or
less vulgar than a song called “Eat Me,” but it’s a good
bet that being a black American rapper playing Hong Kou
Stadium is cause for more official alarm bells than being
young, Chinese and rocking a club of 100 in Wudaoku.
Ultimately, even the point about high profile
government crackdowns versus street level swindles
begs an update, because, for the most part, Tiananmen,
free speech and Prime Minister Hu Jintao’s latest dictate
aren’t even on the underground agenda anymore. Now
that Fugazi rarities are readily available in Beijing’s
backyard, and Re-TROS can call for the boys in blue to be
Hung under their shotguns…before we’re all murdered
with little reproach, the lines of protest are that much
fuzzier. Most of the current crop of Chinese musicians
are the first generation of China’s one child per family
law: they’re the first generation to see a rising, wealthy
middle class and the possibility of (and pressure to
achieve) even greater financial success in their future.
“My parents are not happy,” says Hua. “They wanted me
to be a rich man, or a teacher. To have a fixed job—not
like now.” In addition to Franz Ferdinand and Pitchfork,
Chinese musicians have become familiar with the
Western exports of powerlessness and political apathy in
the face of intoxicating, unapologetic profit. As American
musicians long ago retired the flags waved by Baez,
Dylan and Hendrix, so goes the rest of the world. “When
people do do stuff that’s political,” says Kuo, “I have a
very strong inclination to believe that it’s not sincere, it’s
just to attract attention.”
So while Chinese megaclubs pump out saccharine
pop tunes alongside American and Korean hip-hop,
the underground musicians play on, finding their way
around the notes and improvising the attitude. For now,
most of their music remains a diluted solution of what’s
come before—says Christiaan Verant, one of the minds
behind fm3 and the Buddha Machine (and a long time
resident of Beijing), “The only way that Chinese scene
has ever begun to grow has been when a Westerner has
brought over the music.” The filthy exhilaration of shows
at CBGB’s and the heydey of punk’s overtly political
ethos may be light years away from Beijing’s cardboard
high rises and its swollen coffers of dirty cash, but in this
climate of change, corruption and fucked-up redemption,
there’s most certainly music to be made. F

Guitarist for Re-TROS, Hua
Dong says many young
Chinese have forgotten their
history before the Cultural
Revolution.

1 3 2 T H E FADER

THE FADER 133

PYROTECHNICIANS

The carefully plotted emotional outbursts of Explosions in the Sky
STORY JOHN ALBERT PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL SCHMELLING

EXPLOSIONS IN TH E S KY

“If a 14 or 15-year-old kid is coming to watch us, you have to think that

A

residential street in Austin, Texas lined
with small, single story homes and
overgrown lawns seems more like the
setting of King of the Hill than a hotbed
of experimental music, yet it’s kind of an
ideal place to meet the amiable members
of Explosions in the Sky. They are gathered
outside a house looking more like hip graduate students than a band who
reputedly brings audience members to tears. The four joke easily with one
another, speaking with the coded familiarity of old friends, which makes
sense. Old friends is really what they are, and, as much as anything, it’s
that deep friendship—love, really—which infuses their unapologetically
heartfelt music.
Like other bands affiliated with the loosely defined “post rock” genre,
Explosions specializes in long compositions, averaging eight minutesplus, which feel less like conventional rock songs and more like epic
movements—melodic guitars, bass and drums intertwine and constantly
build to feedback-infused crescendos then retreat, all without a singer.
The effect is mood altering yet non-invasive enough to encourage serious
introspection, a cinematic soundtrack to individual moments passing. It’s
sound as pure emotion—the emotion of the listeners as much as the

players—and there definitely appears to be a need for their lush and
loving music out there in the world. How else to explain a band that gets
little press or radio play, yet sells records and packs concert halls from Los
Angeles to Croatia?
The flyer that brought the musicians together back in 1999 read, simply,
“Wanted: sad and triumphant rock band,” the unabashedly earnest
message bolstered by images of a soaring eagle, dogs and snow-capped
mountains. The band’s future drummer, Chris Hrasky, had recently arrived in
Austin to attend graduate-level film school but then left the program after
only a few weeks. Uncertain of his future and contemplating a return to his
native Illinois, he says he felt inexplicably inspired to create the odd little
flyer and pin it up at the local record store. “I really don’t know why,” Hrasky
says, laughing. “I mean the idea of even putting a flyer up in a record store
was so out of character for me.”
His future band mates—bassist Michael James and guitar players Mark
Smith and Munaf Rayani—had all grown up together in the West Texas city
of Midland, a once-thriving oil town now known as the hometown of George
W Bush (though it was later revealed Bush was actually born in Connecticut).
The three had known one another as teenagers, skateboarding and playing
in bands, before individually migrating to the cultural mecca of Austin,

Guitarist Munaf Rayani

1 3 6 T H E FADER

it’s not the first band out of the mainstream he’s listening to.”—MUNAF RAYANI
where they had reunited to work eclectic day jobs, make short videos and
occasionally write songs. Then they noticed the flyer.
“I came across it and immediately showed the others,” Rayani says. “We
weren’t actively looking for a drummer, but we were so taken with it. It was
a color flyer with big letters and it listed bands that we liked, but beyond
that it was the pictures, this weird collage he had made. So we called him
up and from the first moment we met, it was just awesome.” Days later,
Rayani says the four convened at a local pizza restaurant and proceeded to
bond over their collective obsession with the films of Wes Anderson before
heading for James’s nearby apartment to listen to tapes of songs the trio
had written. Soon after, they began rehearsing.
“Chris and I were talking just a while ago,” Rayani says. “And he said
something really deep. He told me it was as if there was this tiny light way
off in the distance, and he shot an arrow and somehow hit a bull’s eye,
which was this sad, triumphant rock band.”
Explosions in the Sky’s rehearsal space is a surprisingly small, windowless
unit in an industrial park, something like a large bedroom or an extremely
pleasant bomb shelter. A simple drum set is arranged in one corner and
three amplifiers are positioned against the walls. The carpeted floor is
ringed with a large, arching collection of multicolored effects pedals. The

band’s bearded guitarist, Mark Smith, gestures down at the pedals with
a smile. “This is basically what our sound is right here,” he says.
It would be easy to assume that Explosions’ intricately structured songs
are born out of endless hours of improvisation, but, as the band explains,
the reality is quite the opposite. Each song is carefully and meticulously
plotted, every nuance and chord progression discussed and debated until
all involved are satisfied. A single eight-minute song, they say, can take up
to a month to complete. Without lyrics to chart the emotional tide, they
make up short narratives and write the music to them. “They’re not super
detailed stories,” Hrasky says, sitting on the floor. “For example, a 13-yearold kid who steals his parents’ car to go see his girlfriend who’s moving out
of town. I think it’s actually more of a way to help us finish a song.”
When asked about their individual musical tastes, the members
collectively say they listen to everything from classic metal to R&B to
mainstream hip-hop, and make an effort to infuse their own unorthodox
compositions with an underlying pop sensibility. “I think in this genre of
music,” Rayani says, “which falls under the umbrella of long winded and
pretentious songs—and rightfully so—we’re trying to get away from that
as much as we can, and add an element of pop.”
“I like the fact that you can actually hum our songs,” Hrasky adds.
“There are melodies that might stick in your head, or at least we try.”

Drummer Chris Hrasky

THE FADER 137

EXPLOSIONS IN TH E S KY

“Guys will write to us and say they use our music to pump up for a
While the subtle infusion of pop has undoubtedly helped the band
connect with more of a mainstream audience than many of their genre
contemporaries, it was Friday Night Lights that brought the football players.
The band was selected from relative obscurity to score the big budget
Hollywood film adaptation about the harsh realities of high school football
in the West Texas town of Odessa, a milieu located mere miles from where
three of the members grew up. “We walked the hall with those kids growing
up,” James says.
The band did not simply license a few pre-existing songs, but were
actually sent from Austin to Hollywood, where they composed the
film’s score to scenes projected onto a screen, the same process used
by composers like Danny Elfman or Hans Zimmer. It was undoubtedly a
risky move by the film’s music supervisor Brian Reitzell, who had previously
worked on Lost in Translation and The Virgin Suicides (and who plays drums
for Air), but one that seems to have paid off substantially. It is the band’s
moody, introspective compositions that elevate the project from a proficient
but formulaic sports movie to something bordering on art.
“I was just telling the boys the other night, the ripple of that movie is
so far beyond our sights,” Rayani says. “Because of it, all kinds of people
are listening to our music. Somebody who doesn’t know anything
about underground rock or indie music, but because they heard us in

the movie or TV show, they’ve picked up our album.”
“Guys will write to us and say they use our music to pump up for a
football game,” Smith says. “Which is weird, but I’m not embarrassed by it.”
Watching Friday Night Lights, it is easy to understand the band’s growing
appeal. What might initially seem an awkward juxtaposition—the band’s
symphonic guitar music layered over gritty scenes of Texas high school life,
with all the typical desperation, heartbreak, violence and uncertainty—
works to near perfection. The music never seems overbearing, yet it
succeeds in pulling the viewer back enough to infuse the smallest scenes
with an epic importance, perfectly conveying the heart-on-the-sleeve, all-ornothing, hormone-pumping drama of the teenage experience.
Rayani’s apartment sits atop a rustic garage in another Austin
neighborhood. The four members of Explosions are spread out lazily
across the room, on the floor, a bed and a chair. The sun has begun
to disappear, casting a warm, diffuse light as the band members talk
about the impending release of their new record. This is actually
the band’s second attempt at making the LP. In the summer of 2005, they
spent several months composing an album’s worth of material only to
abandon the songs and begin again. “That stuff just seemed…fine,” Hrasky
says. “That’s how I would describe it. It didn’t really do much for us beyond

Bassist Michael James

1 3 8 T H E FADER

football game. Which is weird, but I’m not embarrassed by it.”
that. It sounded melodic and it was nice, but it didn’t have anything we
were really excited about. And so that’s when the despair started. Thinking,
‘It was a good run while it lasted. We got much farther than we ever thought
we would.’ But then we just kept at it, because this is what we all want to do.”
The new album, All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone, has all the group’s
earlier signatures, but there is now a subtle darkness to the soundscape,
the beautiful guitars now counterbalanced with huge dissonant walls of
feedback and thick, resonating power chords. There is a haunting acoustic
piano on several songs and the once subtle drumming now has the heavy,
concussive thud of metal, which, they say, is entirely the point. “We
wanted it to sound like a rock band playing really loud and playing this
absurd type of music,” Hrasky says. “This was the first record I was able
to take home and listen to it and not just immediately turn it off. It just
sounds the way I had always hoped our records would, live and fiery.”
It was, afterall, the band’s fiery live show that landed them a record deal
when a friend sent a cassette of a performance to Jeremy Devine, founder
of the label Temporary Residence. The band members also confirm reports
of audience members weeping at their shows, and add that fans have now
started following them from concert to concert, so much that the group now
feels compelled to change their setlist each night so as not to shortchange
the diehards. And while they are grateful for the passion and increased size

—MARK SMITH

of their audiences, they are almost equally pleased at the decrease in the
median age. “In the last few years it seems like there are a lot more kids,
which is pretty exciting,” Hrasky says. “We’re getting 15-year-olds who are
into emo bands.”
“It gives me a lot of hope for music,” Rayani adds. “If a 14 or 15-year-old
kid is coming to watch us, you have to think that it’s not the first band out
of the mainstream he’s listening to.”
Sitting with the members of Explosions in a checkered tablecloth Italian
eatery, it’s hard not to view them as an anomaly in a business known for
bitter infighting and obligatory self-destruction stories. They are friendly and
straightforward, interacting with each other much like brothers, hugging
and putting their arms around one another. The four insist they never
intended to make a career out of playing in Explosions, and could hardly
have anticipated even the success they have had thus far, though they
are sincerely happy for it. While they are by no means naïve, there is a
definite sense of idealism to who they are and what they do. Not so
much that everything will turn out okay, but that the music they make has
a real ability to transcend and emotionally connect—which seems about
as rebellious as anything else around right now. In a sense, this is art rock
for the emo generation: structurally and texturally complex, meticulously
mapped out and discussed, yet totally in service of the heart. F

Guitarist Mark Smith

THE FADER 139

Raised on Reaganomics, go-go, and the neverending pursuit
of freshness, Wale and Tabi Bonney rap for the capitol.

NEW SLANG

STORY NICK BARAT PHOTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG

DC HIP-HOP

W

ale is picking at some
french fries in a burger
spot on Georgia Ave
in Washington DC,
right by the Howard
University campus,
when I ask him about the first time he ever heard go-go
music. “I remember the back of the school bus,” he says.
“I went to school in Silver Springs, because DC schools
were getting blasted at that time for dirty water, this that
and the third. We used to use my cousin’s address, they
interrogated me and knew we were lying but didn’t really
care. There were nine of us—I was the youngest, and all
I remember was them going, ‘Keisha got a big ol’ butt!’
and the bus shouting back, ‘Oh yeaaah!’ Now, it’s like the
‘Oh yeaaah!’ kids started growing up, and this is what
we got.”
Go-go has been the sound of the District for years:
live bands and deep percussion, overextended grooves,
repetition, chants and audience participation. Chuck
Brown and his Soul Searchers first molded the sound
out of R&B yelps and James Brown funk in the late ’70s
with tracks like “Bustin Loose.” Early rappers like Kurtis
Blow and Salt N Pepa would often incorporate go-go
elements into their tracks, and by the end of the ’80s, DC
artists were starting to reach the rest of the country on
their own, with hits from Trouble Funk (“Pump It Up”),
the Junkyard Band (“Sardines,” produced by Rick Rubin),
and EU, whose “Da Butt” was immortalized not only on
Wale’s bus, but also in Spike Lee’s School Daze. At the
same time, the city was just as well known for blights—
from skyrocketing murder rates to “Bitch set me up!”
surveillance footage of then-mayor Marion Barry smoking
crack in a DC hotel room. For the next decade, as national
interest would ebb and flow, go-go venues like Club U
were consistently plagued by fights and stabbings, yet
the music itself remained vibrant as second generation
groups like Backyard Band rose up with a harder take
on the sound; their frontmen were not MCs in the usual
sense, but “talkers” or “callers” who took the traditional
call-and-response elements in a more rap-like direction.
Still, just as with Baltimore club, Chicago juke and
other regional inner-city subgenres, the relationship
between go-go and present day hip-hop has been
tenuous at best, running the gamut from occasional
homage (Ludacris performing a go-go version of “Pimpin
All Over the World” backed by Rare Essence on the VMAs)
to straight jacking (Jay-Z taking RE’s “Overnight Scenario”
for his “4am at the waffle house…” bit on “Do It Again”),
but rarely meeting in a wholehearted embrace. This past
spring, however, drivers could tune into DC rap radio
almost any time of day and hear the signature go-go drum
rolls of Northeast Groovers’ “Off the Muscle” blaring from
their speakers. It wasn’t the actual song, but “Dig Dug,”
a rap single built off a sizeable NEG sample, performed
by a new artist named Wale (pronounced Walé). Over the
hypnotic loop, Wale shouts out his hometown’s go-go
bands, crack dealers and college hoops teams, appointing
himself the “ambassador of rap for the capitol” before
listing the sticker price on his SB Dunks. It was soon

1 4 2 T H E FADER

“You had the Slick Rick,

the Kid N Play influence,
but the city
was go-go.”
- TABI BONNEY

“I’m no gang banger,
I’m just a real
genuine dude

in Washington DC”

- WALE

This page: Tabi Bonney in his Capitol
Hill Backyard. Opposite page: Wale,
sidekicking on a porch in Bowie, MD.

followed by two other go-go laced singles, “1 Thing” and
“Breakdown,” and there was nothing else on the radio in
DC or elsewhere that you could even start to compare it
to—until fellow local Tabi Bonney made it on the air a
few months later with his own hybrid single, “Doin It,”
and the wildly successful “The Pocket.” On first listen,
“The Pocket” doesn’t seem musically beholden to the city
in any way, but between Bonney’s relaxed, pause-heavy
rhymes and homegrown expressions (When somebody
syses you, you see a girl that’s tight or summ’n…she put
you in the pocket! When you rockin bamas, stylin on ’em
and stuff…), you realize it couldn’t have been birthed
anywhere else in the world.
Inside Tabi Bonney’s small basement apartment on
Capitol Hill, Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead sits on a
bedside table next to some PlayStation games and
vintage Versace pillows, and an enormous flatscreen
TV plays MTV Jams with the sound off. Hanging
on one of the walls is a framed LP cover featuring
Bonney’s father, Itadi. The elder Bonney made a name
for himself in the West African country of Togo playing
soukous and high-life music, and after marrying Tabi’s
mother (a DC resident running an international school in
Togo with the Peace Corps), the family remained on the
road. “We would always be on tour, or living in France for
a year or two,” says Bonney. “My sister and I would be
onstage with him, dancing on TV shows in Africa for the
president and stuff like that. Even then I knew I wanted
to be in entertainment. I didn’t know if it was going to be
music—I just knew I didn’t want to lead an ordinary life,
because I wasn’t around an ordinary life.”
Once the Bonneys settled in the States, a preteen
Tabi got a secondary musical education from his DC
surroundings. “You had the Slick Rick, the Kid N Play
influence, but the city was go-go,” says Bonney. “I was
slightly sheltered—I didn’t go out to the clubs all the time
because people were getting killed, but we had tapes,
you’d hear it on the radio, sometimes bands would be set
up on the corner, too.” While studying at Florida A&M in
Tallahassee, Bonney saw some local success with his rap
group Organized Rhyme, rocking tracks he describes as
“underground hip-hop with a lot of samples—the Police,
stuff like that.” But he always found himself returning to
the sounds he came of age listening to.
“When I was working on my [solo] album, I was
thinking back to those hustling days in the ’80s, the
golden age of DC,” says Bonney. “There was a guy around
Lincoln Park who we always looked up to, he’d have a
brand new car every month. He had this pet monkey—he
would come through and the monkey would be wearing
all Polo. Who has ever seen that in the streets?” On
“Lunchin” (“That’s like, if a girl or somebody is trippin,
they lunchin,” Bonney explains), the mission statement is
made clear: I ain’t no herb, no bama, no busta, no mark,
no slouch, no loser, no nothin/ I’m that cat that’ll hit you
with a couch or a stove/ I slap you in the mouth so bust it/
People be illin, thinking they tight/ Pardon me while I hurt
they feelings!/ Lunchin! Lu-lu-lu-lunchin! The beats on his
album, A Fly Guy’s Theme, are as minimal as the rhymes

THE FADER 143

DC HIP HOP

“I’m an embodiment
of where I’m from.
I rock a little different
from everybody,
are easy, sometimes only snatches of an accordion
sample (“You”), go-go loops (“Beat Rock”) or even
just beatboxing (“On It”). As a result, its biggest charm
lies in just how awesomely unassuming a throwback it
is—Bonney describes the album as “cool guy tracks and
little treats for the ladies,” and like Devin the Dude or Del
the Funky Homosapien before him, he makes life as a
laidback dude sound pretty damn exciting.

a chemist), and “Lucky Me,” where Wale candidly speaks
on growing up with two immigrant parents while shuffling
between the Northwest DC projects and suburban
Maryland. “I’m no gang banger, I’m just a real genuine
dude in Washington DC,” he says. “I’m an embodiment
of where I’m from. You might double-check me because
I rock a little different from everybody, but that’s my own
style. I’m gonna make that accepted.”

If Tabi Bonney is DC’s understated rap celeb, Wale is
its baby Kanye West (or, as a WKYS program director
would joke, “Wale Fiasco”), a supersized personality
in golden Nikes ready to take over the world, jotting
down almost too-clever lyrics in his Sidekick whenever
he’s not compulsively checking MySpace messages on it.
He’s already got a mini Grammy Family in tow: a longtime
DJ, two eager managers and a clique of close friends
with names like Jay Promo and Sneakerman Dan. Wale’s
orbit even includes local video model Angel, a G-Unit
favorite who just happens to drop in and drop jaws as we
grab lunch on Georgia Ave; he insists they’re on strictly
platonic terms. “She understands where I’m coming from,
so we just bonded,” he says. “You can’t stop DC from
saying what they want to say about you, and they say shit
about her all the time. It’s good to have a homie in your
corner who gets it.”
What do people hate on him for, exactly? “‘Wale not
street, he just a go-go rapper, he not from DC, he can’t
rap,’” he says. “But they know I’m good. It’s not like
they can say ‘You suck’ and look to their left and their
man’s like, ‘You right.’ It’s more like ‘You suck’ and their
man is like, ‘I don’t know, Joe. You hear that mixtape?’”
On his well-rounded Paint a Picture and Hate is the New
Love CDs, distributed for free online and hand-to-hand
throughout the city, Wale makes a convincing case for
his embryonic stardom. Over Kanye’s “Touch the Sky”
instrumental, Wale thanks listeners for their support like
a pro (“Good morning DC! My name’s Wale, you prolly
know me from the rap…”) and follows up “Dig Dug” with
“They Warming Up Caine,” remaking Big Daddy Kane’s
“Warm It Up” into a tongue-twisting indictment of DC’s
drug problem (Government officials is rude in the District/
They do the shipment, we do the pitchin/ They do the
scorin, we more like Pippen/ Lockin us up for the drugs
that we dealin/ But I don’t know no hood nigga that’s

On Wale’s MySpace page, a snapshot of him and Bonney
standing shoulder to shoulder has almost double the
comments of any of the other photos. “THA POCKET
vs. DIG DUG = TiGHT. YALL SHOULD mAKE A SONG
2GETHER,” “2 niggas puttin DC on da map!” and more
than a hundred other well-wishers have left their notes
of support for the duo’s sign of unity. “[Wale] was the first
rapper from DC that I heard and was like, ‘He’s tight,’”
says Bonney, and Wale holds his counterpart in similar
regard. “Tabi’s always there for me,” he says. “He helped
with everything, from dealing with the negative feedback
to hooks to just everything.”
Yet even if they weren’t so friendly, the two MCs would
probably find themselves linked for the rest of their
careers. One glance at the cheesy mixtape covers in any
mom and pop record store will tell you there are many
other MCs hustling throughout the District, but Wale and
Bonney were the ones to capture the imagination and
expectations of their hometown, where “Taxation Without
Representation” is printed at the bottom of license plates,
and the collective desire for recognition is immense. As
with any artist who’s tasted the first spark of success,
Wale and Bonney no longer view their future as a series of
“if’s,” but “when’s.” Bonney is filming a proper video for
“The Pocket” with Swishahouse lensman Dr Teeth, while
finalizing national distribution for A Fly Guy’s Theme, and
Wale continues to record steadily, taking trips up to NYC
to soak up knowledge jewels from Roc-A-Fella engineer
Young Guru, who promises to link him up with Swizz
Beatz and Just Blaze. “I been MySpacing Just to find out
where he got those drummers,” Wale says in traffic, while
listening to Blaze’s nine-minute epic “Why You Hate the
Game” from Doctor’s Advocate. “He won’t tell me where
he got the drummers! I’m gonna have them on my album.
Go-go with an orchestra! If don’t hear that, you know
somebody messed up my budget.” &

“People see DC as just hoodlums,” says Wale.
“I want that whole Nelly movement.”

but that’s my own style.

I’m gonna make that accepted.”

- WALE

A
Tribute
To
Collaboration

IT T AKES
TWO

On the following pages are illustrator Ian Wright’s portraits celebrating some of modern music’s most
exciting long-term—and just starting—creative partnerships.
• Devendra Banhart and Becky Stark are both currently spreading fairy folk dust across Los Angeles’s
music scene with as many friends as they can find. Banhart and Stark’s respective bands, the Queens
of Sheeba and Lavender Diamond, were featured on a split 7-inch from LA’s Cold Sweat Records.

• Former Clash guitarist Mick Jones began working with Pete Doherty when he produced both albums
by the Libertines. He has continued their relationship by helming all of Doherty’s Baby Shambles
releases, including the recent The Blinding EP.

• Princess and Diamond are the two female rappers in Atlanta’s five deep Crime Mob crew. Crime Mob’s
new album Hated On Mostly is out this spring.
• Senegalese musician Cheikh Lô was discovered by his countryman Youssou N’Dour in Paris in the
later ’80s. N’Dour produced Lô’s debut and, both together and separately, they have explored the
potential reaches of afropop.

IMAGES IAN WRIGHT
T H E FA D E R 1 4 6

BECKY STARK & DE V E N D R A B A N H A RT

PETE DOHERTY & MICK JONES

PRINCESS & DIAMOND

YOUSSOU N’DOUR & C H E I K H L Ô

ANY
WAY
!!!

SHIRT BY TROVATA, PANTS BY ENERGIE.

With hundreds of stitches in
his hands, a glock in his waist
and the dancehall’s first truly
psychedelic voice, Mavado is
taking gun talk to outer space

O
N
T
HE
C
O
R
N
E
R
PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW DOSUNMU STYLING MOBOLAJI DAWODU

SHIRT BY VALENTINO RED.
THIS PAGE: SHIRT BY DIOR HOMME, PANTS BY UNIQLO, SUNGLASSES BY RAY-BAN. OPPOSITE: SHIRT BY DIOR HOMME.

1 5 8 T H E FADER

THE FADER 161

SHIRT BY VALENTINO RED.

THE FADER 163

SHIRT BY J LINDEBERG, PANTS BY PERRY ELLIS, SANDALS BY DIOR HOMME.

THE FADER 165

SHIRT BY FREMONT.

THIS PAGE: TANK BY YMC, PANTS BY COSTUME NATIONAL, SHOES BY J LINDEBERG. OPPOSITE: TANK BY ACNE JEANS, JACKET BY PERRY ELLIS.

CHOKY: SHIRT BY ACNE JEANS.

1 6 6 T H E FADER

THE FADER 169

SHIRT BY HUGO BOSS.

GP

VINYL ARCHEOLOGY
EXTRA SENSITIVE
GETTING IN TOUCH WITH THE FUNKY SIDE OF FOLK

Jo Mama Jo Mama (Atlantic
1970)
I’m at a Giles Peterson gig
in NYC back in ’95 when he
drops this crazy organ-led,
horn-fueled funk number
that boasted the chorus Love
will get you hiiiiiiiiiiigh… with a
technicolor three-part harmony
that stretched on ’til infinity. I
immediately made a drunken
beeline to the booth with two
other brothas to inquire about
the cut. When Giles exclaimed
“Jo Mama” he was met with
three “Whatthefuckujussay?”
screw faces and thrust the
jacket into our hands, shouting,
“It’s the title! The title!” Primarily
made up of members of Carole
King’s backup band, Jo Mama
made two albums of slightly
cheesy, yet very earnest, good
time mellow West Coast funkn-roll. Well, funky if you think
Carole King’s Tapestry is kind of
funky, like I do. But then I think
the Carpenters are also kind of
funky. They have to be, because
they’re one of a very select
few white artists you’ll see in
any older black person’s record
collection. DH

We’ll be upfront: there’s a side to us that most men are afraid to show, but we fully embrace. Sure we love our
hip-hop and we’ve got breaks for days, but what we truly dig is sensitive ’70s soul music with folk sensibilities
and vice versa. You know, earnest vocal stylings, dopey lyrics filled with hippie idealism and boatloads
of studio trickery. Generally we only share these records with each other and the members of our band
Prometheus’ Tears (Jean on finger cymbals, Jared on wind chimes, Pete on tambourine and Small Change on
pan flute). These funky folk albums were for the most part inexpensive and very easy to find, but now they
are becoming big ticket eBay items. Apparently people are becoming more comfortable with expressing their
ALEC DERUGGIERO & DUANE HARRIOTT
softer side. That’s OK, and you’re OK too, maaan.

Air Air (Embryo 1971)
Back in that hazy summer of
1999, yours truly spent a threeday weekend in a share condo
the NYPD runs down on Court
St near City Hall. Even though
the accommodations were free,
I wasn’t feelin’ the cramped
quarters or the cheap boxed
cuisine. When they decided
to end my vacation, I took the
train home, retreated to my
bedroom and immediately put
on this album, the only one this
Air ever put out. Hearing the
desperate voice of Queensbred Googie Coppola sing the
lines, Here I sit in this jail cell/
Wondering what kind of key will
get me out of here… My mind
isn’t free and never will be/ Until
you come back to me, this grown
ass man had to shed a tear. DH

Delaney & Bonnie and
Friends D & B Together
(Columbia 1972)
While we’re on the subject of
the Carpenters, did you know
that “Superstar” was a cover? I
was pleasantly shocked to hear
the definitive version of that
tune on this album. Originally
titled “(Groupie) Superstar,”
this song gets the gospel
wail treatment from Bonnie
Bramlett, who sings the hell out
of it like any white girl raised in
East St Louis should. Oh did I
mention she was also an Ikette?
Not only am I laminating her
a ghetto pass for life, while I’m
at it, I’m going to give one to
her husband Delaney as well.
Eddie Kendricks, Tina Turner
and Booker T played on D & B’s
albums for free! DH

Rodriguez Cold Fact
(Sussex 1970)
The first time I listened to this
album I ended up putting “Sugar
Man” on repeat, immediately
called my trusty “delivery
service” and ordered some
“tkts to the magic show,” while
the dungeon master took me
aboard his “silver magic ships”
full of “jumpers, coke and sweet
Mary Jane.” Sixto Rodriguez got
no love in the US whatsoever
when this album was released,
but strangely achieved cult
status in South Africa, where
he performed to a sold out
audience in ’98. AD

Bonnie Dobson Good
Morning Rain (RCA 1970)
I’ll never forget when Duane
dropped this little bomb on
me. Like any other beat junkie
or loop head, I was salivating
when he played the crazy harp
strings of “Milk and Honey.”
Sadly, Bonnie Dobson oozes
folk cheese and often kind of
blows, but occasionally she
makes up for it with songs like an
apocalyptic track called “Morning
Dew” that’s about nuclear
devastation. Primo also needs
to get his hands on the opening
track “Light of Love.” It has his
name written all over it. AD

Hollins and Starr Sidewalks
Talking (Ovation 1970)
Naming your album Sidewalks
Talking means that it might be
time to put down the pipe,
but I’m glad that Chuck Hollins
and David Starr decided not
to. Instead, they kept hitting
it and produced gems like
“Staying High,” complete with
a thunderstorm outro, sirens
and gunfire samples. DJ Shadow
must have strapped on his
Birkenstocks when he decided
to sample the chimes off of
“Twin City Prayer” for his epic
“What Does Your Soul Look
Like (Part 3).” AD

Linda Lewis Heartstrings
(Reprise 1975)
“Hey Linda, I’ve been trying
to get in contact with you to
see if you’d come to the Big
Apple to perform. We’ll pay
you and everything! The last
time I tried the contact link on
your website it didn’t work.
Don’t worry, I’m not a stalker,
but I have been known to
burn down karaoke bars that
don’t offer your tracks. I do a
killer version of ‘Reach for the
Truth.’” Seriously, this woman
can sing her ass off. She has a
five-octave vocal range that
can rival Minnie Ripperton and
a swagger that totally sets her
apart. She’s also still cashing
paychecks, collaborating with
Turin Brakes, Jamiroquai and
Basement Jaxx. AD
Odetta Odetta Sings
(Polydor 1970)
The original folk soul sista
created the definitive folk funk
track with “Hit or Miss,” a
gutsy, self-penned slab of selfaffirmation. You might recognize
it from DJ Shadow and Cut
Chemist’s all 45s Brainfreeze
session. This also gives me an
excuse to tell this story: I was
DJing a fashion aftershow party
years ago and Kate Moss got up
and started to dance to “Hit or
Miss” in front of the booth and
her boobs fell out of her loosefitting blouse. She didn’t fix the
situation until the song was over.
God bless cocaine! DH

Barbara & Ernie Prelude
To… (Cotillion 1971)
The resumé on this record is
Retardo Montalban: Keith Jarrett
on piano, Grady Tate on drums,
Joe Beck on electric piano,
Ralph MacDonald on conga &
percussion, Chuck Rainey on
bass, Barbara Massey on vocals
and Ernie Calabria on guitars. Oh
yeah, Deodato conducted and
offered his orchestral expertise.
Boo-Yah-Kah! Google any of
these musicians and make note
of all the heavy cats they’ve
jammed out with. This abum is
like Prelude To… the second
coming of baby Jesus. AD

Alec DeRuggiero currently works as a music consultant for Gray V and was the music director of the nightclub APT in NYC for seven
years. Duane Harriott is a DJ, writer and music savant over at Other Music in NYC. Together they are Audio Archeology and you can
hear their mix of the music discussed in this article at www.audioarcheology.net.

1 70 T H E FADER

THE FADER 17 1

GP

MIXTAPE
MUSICS
COMPILED BY NICK BARAT, LINDSEY CALDWELL, ERIC
DUCKER, SAM HOCKLEY-SMITH, WILL WELCH

Various Artists British Street Soul (spinemagazine.com)
If this magazine was a record store (and sometimes I think
it should be) I would put British Street Soul in my section of
the Employee Picks display this month, with little stickers
I cut out during lunch that said NICK’S SECRET HEAT or
GROWN N SEXY or something. Then I’d print out a little
blurb to glue on the index card underneath, talking about how
UK producer Dobie filled these two excellent discs with his
favorite homegrown R&B by everyone from Galliano to Soul
II Soul to Finley Quaye (remember him?), taking special care
to highlight actual favorites, not just the hits—which is why
there’s no “Back To Life” from Soul II Soul, and why one hit
wonder Junior is represented by a song that wasn’t the hit.
Then I’d feel really pleased with myself about the GROWN N
SEXY sticker, ’cause nobody really reads blurbs, but that kinda
stuff moves records. NB

1 72 T H E FADER

Thes One Lifestyle
Marketing (Tres)
For all we know, these
surprisingly great
remixes of music from
forgotten Minneapolis
commercials (imagine
Donuts constructed out
of nothing but vintage
Krispy Kreme jingles)
were being tended to in
Thes Uno’s mind garden
for years. By releasing
the project now, in the
wake of hit MF Doom
albums about Cartoon
Network characters and
critically lauded LCD
Soundsystem mixes for
Nike, the producer gives
Lifestyle Marketing a timely
and clever little boost,
especially when I caught
myself humming “Grain
Belt Beer” and realized
that I was just virally
marketed a product that
doesn’t exist anymore. NB

Dr Delay Rajaz Meter
(Funk Weapons)
Oddly enough, I was just
about to ask my camel
what he wanted for his
birthday when this mix
showed up in the mail.
Re-giiiiift! Named after the
ancient Bedouin rhythm
said to correspond to the
natural swagger of camels,
Dr Delay’s insanely wellcrafted mix collects some
of the gnarliest funk and
psych I’ve ever heard,
from countries I’ve never
been to (Ethiopia, Turkey,
Egypt, Lebanon, to name

a few) with a couple
Farsi drops and scratch
segues thrown in for good
measure. It flies from
Baris Mancho’s manic
“Cleopatra” to the Cairo
Jazz Band’s “D onence”
lazerjam in less than an
hour and will likely have
you planning your next
vacation to the Middle
East. PM

Van Morrison Van
Morrison at the
Movies (Manhattan)
Coming on the heels of
Scorsese digging up Van
Morrison’s cover
of “Comfortably Numb”
with members of the
Band and Pink Floyd
for The Departed, the
curmudgeon in me wants
to call this collection of
Morrison soundtrackfeatured songs an
opportunistic cash grab.
And it probably is. It is
also a prime stash of
Morrison’s engine revvers
and an impressive
testament that 19 fairly big
deal films have utilized his
music. The real standout
is his other collaboration
with the Band, the
cocaine and purple
suit-powered “Caravan”
from The Last Waltz
concert documentary,
while the aforementioned
“Comfortably Numb,”
recorded live in Berlin in
1990, is more impressive
in concept. But what a
concept! ED

Boredoms Super
Roots (Vice)
Man, I was so bummed
after the Boredoms’
Seadrum/House of Sun
came out and I went to
see them and Eye had an
organ instead of a piano
onstage. “Seadrum” was
maybe my favorite piece
of music from 2005, but,
with the organ wank
instead of the piano
runs, I ended up in the
venue’s bar drinking with a
couppla other sulkers. The
band has always operated
in big concepts that are
surrounded by fine lines—
depending on your tastes,
you’ll either bug out or
fuck off. It’s happening
all over again as I wade
through Vice’s six reissues
from the band’s Super
Roots series, which they
scattered throughout the
’90s. Next up: the muchrumored “77 Drums,” a
performance piece for 77
drummers, jumping off on
07/07/07. I’ll do everything
under the house of sun to
be there, but I’m packing a
flask and a pouty face just
in case. WW

GP

Each and every week the FADER team brings you two hours of the best internet radio in the
world. Mixtape bangers, rare vinyl, exclusive unreleased cuts, and very special guests on the decks
and on the mic - it’s exciting and totally unpredictable live radio, beaming direct from 1st Avenue
to your computerboxes.

MIXTAPE
MUSICS

You Feel It” video. Either
way I like it, and you know
what else you can do
with that pixie dust don’t
you? LC

Audionom
Retrospectiv
(Kemado)
The thing about Swedes,
which the dudes in
Audionom are, is that
when they offer you
something, it’s never
really what you get. Like
if a Swede offers you
chili, expect some rice
and carrots in it. It’s still
delicious, but it ain’t
exactly chili. It’s the same
with Audionom’s selfproclaimed “kraut rock”
on this collection of their
work from 1999 to 2002.
Technically, the repetitious
riffs, extended freakouts
and proggy time changes
are kraut-like, but the
guitars are way more
Motörhead than Can. In
fact, let’s call it Powerkraut,
or Pauerkraut. PM

Various Artists Elaste
Vol. 1: Slow Motion
Disco (Compost)
This collection of woozy
wonders is the kind of
music that is played at
those parties here in
New York that are always
actually packed and
where everyone is actually
dancing. Every time I make
it out to one of those
parties I wonder if it’s
the laser disco that’s got
people all fired up or if it’s
the cluster of Threeasfour
designers sprinkling pixie
dust all over the dancers
like in the Jacksons’ “Can

1 74 T H E FADER

the mid-period “Ecstacy,”
filters them through some
Nintendo bloops and
comes out with an almost
new wave interpretation
that completely blows the
original out of the water.
I’m not saying every Bone
song needs this sort of
treatment, but I wouldn’t
be mad at Copy if he did
about 50 more of these.
SHS

J Dilla Ruff Draft (Stones Throw)
There was always something endearing about Dilla’s loyalty to
his not-quite-next level Detroit MC brethren, but 2003’s Ruff
Draft EP was the only official munchkin from his cruelly brief
discography where he handled all the production and vocals
himself. A year after his death, the previously European vinylonly blammy has been reissued domestically in expanded two
CD form, with the second disc featuring instrumental versions
to facilitate more intensive studying from his beatmaking
disciples. Dilla’s original intent was for Ruff Draft to sound like
a cruddy cassette, but here the tracks have been cleaned up
and remastered to knock blocks off with their strange strain of
space Cadillac music. “Nothing Like This” retains its majestic,
heart-breaking classic status, though after all the heavy J
DILLA CHANGED MY LIFE talk, hearing the previously
unreleased “Wild” (which samples an English kiddie singing
Slade’s “Cum on Feel the Noize”) serves as a reminder of an
important truth about Dilla: dude was funny. ED

Various Artists Relish
Compilation (Relish)
German label Relish gets
the automatic double
thumbs up for having
both metal techno mob
David Gilmour Girls and
electro soul savant Don
Cash on their roster, but
I’m considering naming
pets after them for this
retrospective compilation
that makes 30 minutes
on the elliptical machine
fly right by. The first
disc finds Headman, the
producer and DJ who is
the man at the head of
Relish, mixing together
mainly remixes, while on
disc 2, songs stretch out
to their full acid insanity.
Either way, I’m clocking
3.52 miles traveled and
317 calories burned,
motherbitches. ED

Copy Bone Thugs
Harmony N Copy
(CD-R)
I’m a pretty big devotee of
Bone Thugs’ Clevelandslanted G-funk, so
whenever I hear “Bone
Thugs remix” I usually
take the huffy “if it ain’t
broke…” viewpoint.
Copy’s remix disc flips
Bone songs I’m less
enthusiastic about, like

THE FADER
PRESENTS
“THE LET OUT”

Various Artists A Date
With John Waters
(New Line)
This collection of “love”
songs personally chosen
by filmmaker and
subculture icon John
Waters casts a twisted
light on relationships. The
selections range from
masters like Ray Charles to
the ultra kitsch Clarence
“Frogman” Henry to the
cheerleader sneer of Josie
Cotton, but after reading
the “Christopher Walken
as the Continental on
SNL” style liner notes by
Waters, I can’t escape
visions of being lured
and then trapped in his
Baltimore home while he
dances around, caresses
his mustache and blasts
this mix on repeat. I might
not become his “disciple”
like Bart Simpson did,
but at least I’d enjoy the
music. SHS

Every Friday on East Village Radio

Listen live from 6-8pm EST or subscribe to the podcast
www.eastvillageradio.com
PROVE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, NOT YOUR CAPACITY.

Made possible by

©DEWAR’S, WHITE LABEL AND HIGHLANDER DEVICE ARE REGISTERED TRADEMARKS AND DEWARISM IS A TRADEMARK. IMPORTED BY JOHN DEWAR & SONS COMPANY, MIAMI, FL. BLENDED SCOTCH WISKEY - 40% ALC. BY VOL.

GP

JEDI MIND PIX
RECOMMENDED LISTENING
FAVORED TUNES FROM FAVORITE DJS

RONNIE DARKO
If you’ve ever checked a Spank Rock performance
(and if you haven’t, put this magazine down and
get thee to a sweatbox, post haste!) you’ve seen
Marylander Ronnie Darko behind the decks,
providing live turntable action with partner in
beats Chris Devlin. But RD’s also a talented
party rocker and scratchy scratcher in his own
right. Check the podcasts and mixes over at
www.lorddarko.com to find out more.

TAP.10
On his recent mixtape All Yay Music, Bay
Area selector Tap.10 blended hyphy hits, turf
obscurities and originals from his own Honor
Roll crew (Trackademicks, Spank Pops, and
more) into one non-stop bass casserole. Tap
brings that same spirit to club gigs at Milk and
Lucas in SF and events throughout the Bay.
Check his podcasts on youthradio.org and his
latest gigs at myspace.com/djtap10.

SNACK & C’MISH
Selector duo Snack & C’mish hail from the
Bay Area, but have recently rooted down in
Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood, where they
ride bikes and release Mac Dre/Polow da Don
blends to the interweb. They also spin records
for the faboulous at NYC spots like Players’ Club
and MoMA, and mix the bi-weekly Turntable Lab
Radio show on brooklynradio.com. Check them
out at snackmode.com and turntablelab.com.

Mark Ronson & Daniel
Merriweather “Stop
Me” (Allido)
It doesn’t happen too
often, but maybe once
every year I will have a
song on constant repeat
morning, noon and night,
and go out of my way
sharing it with everyone
so I can claim credit for
putting them up on it first.
Right now this cover of
the Smiths’ “Stop Me” is
my joint.

Bonde Do Role
“Quero Te Amar”
(Mad Decent)
Brazil’s Bonde Do Role
kids never sounded so...
Miami? Could’ve sworn
it was Egyptian Lover on
production, but surprise
surprise, it was none
other than Egg Foo Young
behind the beat. Baile
funk with a freestyle twist
equals major dancefloor
damage.

Burgundy’s jazz flute solo
had an illegitimate love
child born with monster
truck wheels for feet and
a thirst for blood...this
would be it.

Freeez “Pop
Goes My Love”
(Streetwise)
I found this ’80s electropop gem for $2.85 at
a downtown record
store in Baltimore two
years ago. It’s a bonafide
party starter with a giant
intro perfect for cutting
up and mixing—horns,
synths, claps, congos,
vocal echoes, all in the
fi rst 30 seconds before
the drums hit! Most
people don’t know what
this is when I play it, but
it’s familiar enough to
get them dancing every
time.

Aromadozeski
Therapy “Strudel
Strut” (Future
Primitive)
If you’ve been to a Spank
Rock show, then you
HAVE heard this song.
This is the Swiss Army
Knife of records and it
never leaves my bag.
If “Apache” and Ron

1 76 T H E FADER

Bruce Channel
“Hey Baby” (RCA)
There’s only one thing
girls like better than the
movie Dirty Dancing,
and that’s the music
from the movie Dirty
Dancing! Once they hear
that harmonica fl oat
over those original snap
music drums, the ladies
get all nostalgic and sex
crazed. Trust me, this
instantaneously makes
any club a sock-hop—
and every dude Patrick
Swayze.

SA-RA Creative
Partners “Nasty
You” (GOOD)
This song is some new
school naked-funk, like
“Nasty Girl” or Prince’s
“Erotic City.” I’ve been
hearing rumors that these
guys (now just a duo with
Shafiq and Taz) are having
label situations with BS
mergers and whatever,
but SA-RA needs to see
the light of day soon.

Alchemist ft Prodigy
“I Betcha” (ALC)
Al and Prodigy are a
winning combination for
sure. I’m amped after
hearing their few joints
together from Alchemist’s
No Days Off mixtape. Al
places a melodic, jazzy
synth sample on top of
some Mtume drums,
then in comes the Earth,
Wind & Fire interpolation.
Apparently, Prodigy has a
whole project produced
by Al called Return of the
Mac that’s about to hit.

J Stalin “The
Function” (Zoo/
Livewire)
While hella rappers are
changing their sound
to jump on the hyphy
bandwagon, J Stalin comes
with something a little
more mobbin than most
of the current Bay rap
batch. He’s definitely one
to watch from the Yay,
along with the production
duo the Mekanix, who
produced his whole
project.

Adam Kesher
“Modern Times
(Passions Remix)”
(white)
Passions brings the heat
on this one, transforming
the Kesher boys’ punky
track into an evolving
electro-disco-rave thing,
with jackin’ percussion,
chopped vox and monster
bass. Drop this in the
spot and about halfway
through (when the heavy
bass kicks in), watch out
for pumping fists.

In Flagranti
“Convolution”
(Codek)
The first time I dropped
this at a gig, Snack was
in the leaker and said he
heard a stadium roar. He
came back out and saw
girls doing the horny dog,
a dude doing a strange
one-handed push-up
dance and my quiet coworker ripping off his shirt
and spinning it around
his head. David Cross
even tried to peek at our
Serato!

Krazy Baldhead ft Tes
“CrazyMuthaFucka”
(Ed Banger)
Forget the fact that Tes
sounds high pitched,
’cause its all about the
production, KB is really
trying to kill the floor with
this one. Mix this at 2AM
when you see the neon
fishnet girl rolling her eyes
and biting her lip. Truss.
Then “Apple Juice” on
the b-side slumps into the
future with sass appeal.

IDRIS ACKAMOOR’S GREAT TRIP

I

authentic influences of
these travels. “Do you
know other AfricanAmerican jazz musicians
who visited African
countries and played
and learned real African
music in the very early
1970s?” Emura asks. “Even
Pharoah Sanders didn’t try
it, but Ackamoor did it.”
Although centered in
Africa, over the years
Ackamoor incorporated
Chinese and Guatemalan
percussion into his music
as well, and has most
recently embraced Cuban
stylings. By initially
transporting the world
of sound back to Yellow
Springs, which did not
afford him the exposure
that his hometown
of Chicago afforded
contemporaries like Sun
Ra and the Art Ensemble
of Chicago, Ackamoor
was able to infuse his
music with a unique and
personal sincerity—what
Emura refers to as the
“earnest attitude” that
inspired him to reissue
Ackamoor’s work. As
Emura further notes,
“Performing free jazz in
the 1970s in Ohio…it was
not New York or Chicago,
you know?”
SAM ADA

t was in the 1970s that
multi-instrumentalist
Idris Ackamoor began
to reshape the obsolete
notion of “world music” in
an increasingly shrinking
planet. His compositions
incorporated
intercontinental and
cosmic sources, opening
passages into boundless
periods and locales, each
one seemingly unearthed
from futuristic sarcophagi.
Collected on Music of
Idris Ackamoor 19712004 (reissued by Osaka,
Japan’s EM Records), the
songs on this compilation
provide an immersion
into Ackamoor’s timeand-space-transcendent
brand of avant-garde afrojazz. The retrospective
includes some of his
recent work with the
Idris Ackamoor Quartet
and the Idris Ackamoor
Ensemble, but it is heavily
weighted by songs from
the early to mid-1970s
from his earliest bands,
the Pyramids and the
Collective.
Despite the expansive
resources he drew from,
Ackamoor came from
modest Midwest roots.
He grew up listening
to Motown and playing
basketball on the South
Side of Chicago, then later
started his jazz career and
founded the Collective at
Antioch College in Yellow
Springs, Ohio. While
enrolled there, Ackamoor
ingeniously convinced the
school to fund his selfdesigned study abroad
program that involved a
brief stay in France, where
he formed the Pyramids,
and a subsequent trip

1 78 T H E FADER

to Africa. During this
journey, which the now
San Francisco-based
Ackamoor calls “one of
those points in life that
becomes an epiphany,”
he traveled from
Morocco to Ghana to
Kenya to Ethiopia with
only his instruments
and a tape recorder.
He played with kings’
musicians, watched the
performances of Maasai

and Kikuyu tribesmen,
and participated in a
Juju healing ceremony.
The impact of these
journeys carried over into
the Pyramids’ customs,
including their colorful
Egyptian-styled dress
and the use of indigenous
instruments like the
masenko and the Ugandan
harp. Koki Emura, head
of EM Records, was
especially drawn to the

PHOTOGRAPHY NOAH ROLLINS

GP

REHEATERS
FAR OUT

GP

U

sually when a
band blows their
advance in one
shot, it ends in a pile of
bodies and bottles. Dr
Dog instead spent it on
making their dream rock
sound even dreamier. After
years of recording in living
rooms and basements on,
at best, an 8-track, the
always self-produced band
signed to Rough Trade,

180 THE FADER

BEAT CONSTRUCTION
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE
DR DOG FIGURE OUT FREEDOM

PHOTOGRAPHY ANNA BAUER

took their advance and
bought Soundgun Studios
in northern Philadelphia.
They renovated it into one
big open space, renamed it
Dr Dog Studios (or Meth
Beach, depending on who
you ask) and dropped their
new 24-track mixing board
smack dab in the middle of
the room. The new setup
allowed the band to flesh
out its each and every
musical whim. Probably
too many of them. “It
was garbage,” says bassist/
vocalist Toby Leaman
of the initial purgative
sessions. “The songs were
gone. It was mayhem. We

pretty much recorded an
album and had to scrap
the whole thing. It was
like kids in a candy store
getting sick.”
For the first time in the
band’s career they had the
time to record songs more
than once, so they started
over with a fierce selfediting decree in place. “If
it isn’t awesome, it has to
go,” says guitarist/vocalist
Scott McMicken. “We have
to be able to stand behind
every idea, because we have
to know that what we’re
doing is right for the song.”
This stance makes the new
album’s title, We All Belong,

sound less like a hippie
declaration and more like
a production motto.
As a result, We All Belong
is stacked with songs that
marry the band’s lo-fi
tradition with its newfound
technical prowess, allowing
them to create meticulously
spontaneous pop sunbursts,
a sound halfway between
Magical Mystery Tour and
Hunky Dory. Bowie and the
Beatles had studio whiz
Ken Scott, but Dr Dog
make their own decisions.
A shaker or cowbell that
previously might not have
found its way onto a song
now gets room, and when

it does, you can hear it. You
can hear everything: raspy
throats, guitar fuzz, little
brushes across a snare, the
pluck of the bass. You can
practically hear the incense
burning in the studio. Lack
of restriction, more than
any romantic shoestring
situation, forced Dr Dog to
determine their future, and
We All Belong goes grand.
PETER MACIA

GP

MIXTAPE
BOOKS
COMPILED BY NICK BARAT, MATTHEW SCHNIPPER,
ALEX WAGNER

William Eggleston 5x7
(Twin Palms)
Photographer William Eggleston,
America’s drunk, romantic genius,
always has a way of pulling back
the curtain on brilliant harmony
in the everyday—his shots of
lonesome, perfect ketchup bottles,
nighttime Arco stations and the
bare bulbs on red ceilings are
some of the finest works on film
of the late 20th Century. Though
he’s long been considered the
Patron Saint of Roy G Biv, what
people don’t know is that Eggs
was equally (frighteningly) adept
at black and white: 5x7 is the rare
compendium that includes the
maestro’s b&w portraits. Much
like his other work, the portraits
are effortlessly composed, but
Eggleston still undercuts them
with a spontaneity and intimacy
that gets at the crazy, forlorn
and innocent inside his subjects.
And if you still think that black
and white portraiture is snoozy
stuff, ill-fitting one of the most
luxuriant lushes of them all,
then take solace: Eggleston shot
the bulk of these photos at 3AM
(presumably zooted on J&B) at a
now-shuttered club down South,
called—if you can believe it—TGI
Fridays. AW

Jayson Scott Musson
The Black Boy George
(jaysonmusson@gmail.
com)
When the eggheads put
us in charge of doling out
MacArthur grants, Mr
Musson will be PAID. His
rappy raps as one third of
Plastic Little are fine and
all, but we’d cut the check
on the basis of The Black
Boy George, his second
volume of propagandastyled screeds against art
school dudes (“I’ll see you
down on 5th and South
with an easel and a dream,
using your ‘Starry Night’
mug to mix burnt sienna
and cadmium red into shit
that won’t sell”) art school
girls (“Yeah you with the
hook nose and the Bloc
Party haircut that’s just
long enough in the back so
dudes will still know you’re
a girl and hit on you at
parties”), and his favorite
target, himself (“Where
the fuck is my NAACP
Visionary award at?”).
When was the last time
Anthony Braxton came
with the jokes? NB
Jason Tanz Other
People’s Property
(Bloomsbury)
Tanz’s poses the question:
“What could be more
thrilling, more noble, more
fulfilling, more terrifying, than
living in somebody else’s
skin?” To answer, Tanz
never offers a scarecrow
opinion for provocation,
but instead wades high in
the murk of rap music and
“white people.” Along the
way, he name checks Tricia
Rose, lots of NWA and
Eric Lott’s not dissimilar
book on minstrelsy, Love
and Theft. Tanz’s work, not
quite as dense or academic
as Lott’s, is warm and often
unsure—perhaps that’s
the approach necessary to
broach delicate topics of
race, art and authenticity?

SUBSCRIBE!
#37 SPRING STYLE MARCH 2006 FEATURING GHOSTFACE KILLAH, LOVE IS ALL, AKON, MIRA BILOTTE OF WHITE MAGIC AND EIGHTBALL!

1

Y EA R / 8

I S S U ES

FO R

$ 1 9 . 9 5

SUBSCRIBE NOW AND RECEIVE A FREE CD:
NINA SIMONE REMIXED & REIMAGINED - 13 BRAND NEW REMIXES WWW.MYSPACE.COM/NINASIMONE
SUBSCRIBE ONLINE AT WWW.THEFADER.COM

MS

1 8 2 T H E FADER

SUBSCRIBE DON’T MISS AN ISSUE! BACK ISSUES AVAILABLE ONLINE WWW.THEFADER.COM FREE CDS AVAILABLE WHILE SUPPLIES LAST. SORRY, NOT AVAILABLE FOR CANADIAN & INTERNATIONAL
SUBSCRIBERS.
THE FADER
183

GP
Patron Silver
Basically the You Already
Know Who It Is of booze—
it’s so obvious that I would
be ordering Patron shots on
any given night of the week
that I can’t do it, except for
when I do. Last Thursday I
threw caution (and a couple
of breadcrumbs and an old
gum wrapper) to the wind
and picked up a bottle of
Patty Silver from dude at
the liquor store downstairs
and brought it up to the ole
office. Did you know that
carrying around a bottle of
Patron is a lot like carrying
around a freshly baked cake
filled with hundred dollar
bills? People can smell the
stuff! Here is an actual
description of the scene:
colleagues who had not
stepped into my office since
1994 to ask me a question
about, like, Coolio were
knocking down my door.
The guy who buys all the
office supplies came in with
a “set of spare highlighters
in case [I] wanted them.”
Mobolaji the fashion dude
came knocking with a tray
of warm cookies and “free
socks.” Sure I gave people a

1 8 4 T H E FADER

MIXTAPE
DRANKY DRANKS
COMPILED BY CHIOMA NNADI, ALEX WAGNER,
WILL WELCH
PHOTOGRAPHY NIKOLAS KOENIG

pour or two, but after that,
it was like word got out and
the wild animals could not be
sated. I don’t know who the
lady with the snaggletooth
(I think?) who keeps vigil
outside my office is, or
what that mysterious flock of
pigeons outside my window
everyday at 4PM means, but I
am not into it, dogs, and the
Patron bottle is empty. AW

mature—don’t hesitate to
get into it!” “It’s incredibly
smooth!” “It goes down
easy!” “Once you’ve had
one drop, you’ll never go
back!” Aw maaaaan, this
drink review is like some
kind of bear trap meant to
get this polar cub clamped.
I’ll just leave it at “HIGHLY
RECOMMENDED” (seriously)
and keep it moving.... WW

Black Bush Fine Irish
Whiskey
Given the name of this super
fine bottle of Irish, I’m gonna
resist the temptation to riff
on the obvious here and
instead talk about—what
else?—taste. “It’s plenty

Crown Royal XR
When my dad’s cranky
friend Uncle Tony came
sniffing around screaming,
“Gimme firewata!” I knew
that a tall ass glass of
whiskey was the only way
to get rid of him. Personally

I’m not much of a firewata
swigga myself, but when
the Crown Royal XR (extra
rare) sampler came in the
mail I knew it was the extra
good stuff by the clinical hot
sauce-sized bottle it came in.
Meaning the full-size was too
fancy to be devirginized by
an amateur like me. Anyway
from what my amateur
tastebuds can gather, there’s
definitely a full-bodied
spiciness to XR, with a
pleasant aftertaste sensation
that is way more warming
than burning. Here’s hoping
one day I’ll be able to sort
my blends from my single
malts, appreciate the silkysmooth super premiumness

of it all and make Uncle
Tony proud. CN
Tuaca Liqueur
Sometimes I find myself
thinking about Nero and
am just totally floored
that like, Holy shit Rome
burned? WTF? Were there
firefighters back in LXIV
or what? Tuaca sounds a
lot more like a minor but
pivotal character from
Apocalypto than the name of
an aged Italian liqueur, but
the ancients did all kinds of
crazy shit that I can’t begin
to wrap the old noodle
around. On a what’s-pastis-precedent tip, the Tuaca
label features one dude in a
toga who “just happens” to
be passed out on the floor
while his “friends” convene
in the corner, presumably
conspiring to kill Ceasar
or scratch dude’s chariot
or some otherwise nasty
Roman-style trick. I’m not
naming any names here but
I did manage to enjoy a few
sips of Tuaca myself last
week and if anyone has seen
my toga laying around, it has
a red trim and gold olive
branch detail. AW

GP

EVENTS
FADER 42 IS#UE RELEASE PARTY
LIVE AND STILL BOOGALOOING WITH THE BOYS OF VIETNAM

• First we put the music world on smash by
throwing the most tweaked-out, psychedelic
folks we could find on the covers of our
42nd issue—Mavado and Vietnam. Then we
thought we should get a truckload of Bud
Select beer, a space in Williamsburg (the
Glasslands Gallery), a couple hundred of our
best friends and our favorite tweaked-out,
psychedelic musicians to perform live. That’s
right, an issue release party featuring Mavado
and Vietnam. As it turned out, Mavado
missed three (3) flights from Jamaica, but
WTF did it matter? Vietnam ripped so hard
that, deep into their incomparable live set,
they blew a power fuse and walked off stage.
We soaked it all in for a while, hung out for
a while, then spilled out into the Brooklyn
night, feeling good about it all—feeling deeply
tweaked and forever psyched.
PHOTOGRAPHY DOROTHY HONG

A BUDWEISER SELECT EVENT
P L E A S E R E M E M B E R TO D R I N K R E S P O N S I B LY

PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW DOSUNMU. STYLING MOBOLAJI DAWODU. TANK BY TROVATA.

GP

STOCKISTS
WHERE TO BUY THE
LOOKS YOU LOVE

A G THING
AIR JORDAN www.jumpman23.com
GINO GREEN GLOBAL www.ginogreenglobal.com
PARISH Available at Up Against The Wall stores
nationwide

188 THE FADER

ON THE CORNER
ACNE JEANS www.acnejeans.com
COSTUME NATIONAL www.costumenational.com
DIOR HOMME www.dior.com
ENERGIE www.energie.it
FREMONT www.fremontapparelco.com
HUGO BOSS www.hugoboss.com

J LINDEBERG www.jlindeberg.com
PERRY ELLIS www.perryellis.com
RAY-BAN www.rayban.com
TROVATA www.trovata.com
UNIQLO www.uniqlo.com
VALENTINO RED Available at Valentino Boutiques,
Fred Segal and Bloomingdale’s nationwide
YMC www.youmustcreate.com

©2006 Environmental Defense

cross fingers
fight global warming.com

ISSUE #45 ON SALE MARCH 27 2007

PHOTOGRAPHY JASON NOCITO

©2007 Callard & Bowser Inc.

FADE
OUT

Gang Gang Dance’s Lizzi Bougatsos at home in Manhattan.

1 92 T H E FADER