Friday, February 27, 2009

I Don't Remember Drawing That

No one can tell us drinking can't be productive. After a week of work unwind by partying with pens. This weekend make your debauch decorative. Become a puff puff Picasso by playing Exquisite Corpse.

Best played with four of your nearest and dearest.

Fold paper into four sections.
1) Head
2) Shoulders to waist
3) Waist to knee
4) Knee to feet
Everyone starts with the head, leaving lines to show where their drawing ends. Fold that over to keep your illustration secret and pass it clockwise. Repeat this until you've created your own Exquisite Corpse. We want to see your hooch inspired creations! Email us at if you become wasted Warhol over the weekend and we'll post your masterpieces.

-The Editors
(Corpsers: Amanda S, Stella B, JBizzle, Royal Y.)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

There Will Be Swag

"Inspired by Daniel Plainview, protagonist of the film 'There Will Be Blood'," read the production notes for the Oumlil Fall/Winter ‘09 runway show. "He is a man of singular vision, moving with cunning and determination through the oil rich American West at the Turn of the Century." I didn't quite understand the correlation between what came across the runway and these words.

Looking around, I realized the crowd itself was full of men who moved with cunning and determination combing every chic seat to grab designer gift bags before the rightful owner could claim them. Their singular vision enabled them to snatch up as many as five of the fabled swag bags, notoriously hot items during fashion week. The Oumlil gifties included cd's, a book, and a hundred dollars worth of beauty supplies, all of which the Daniel Plainviews in attendance picked through, leaving discarded bags rustling down the empty runway like American frontier tumbleweeds.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...

Recession-theme Oscars had everyone abuzz with anticipation, wondering what the economic struggle would do to the usually lavish displays of an "embarrassment of riches".

Then as it started the activity of the night turned to texting and competition as we picked winners and kept tabs. Personal favorite moment was when James Franco and Seth Rogen watched a scene from Milk, that look on Franco's face made me think his NYU acting classes are really paying off.

I actually thought it was charming (dare I say intimate?), from Wolverine's light tom-foolery to the personalized messages from past winners to current nominees. I even liked the way everyone sat uncomfortably close together, without all that usual distance. That way every now and then, when the camera was on one celebrity, you would see another one peeking behind their shoulder, or perched next to their ear. Lovely, lovely. The Milk speeches were moving, the Slumdogs on stage at the end, the cincher.

What can I say, it's the year of the brown.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Place Your Bets

Tis the (Oscar) season, and your local deconstructionist Scrooge has nothing positive to say about the "who-will-win!?" hoopla...

Vile capitalistic paratext at its most hollow, a big industry's award show—whether it be the Emmys, the AVN Awards, or the relatively tame announcement of Airline of the Year (Singapore Airlines)—creates out of nothing the double-illusion that (1) many people care about the industry, that they need this industry to exist, and (2) that the industry is powerful, innovative, systematized, and not yet too busy consuming itself through heartless competition to collectively hire Chris Rock or Jon Stewart to make fun of it (within limits).

This industry must, its annual award show seems to say, have its shit together—must be doing something right—because otherwise how could/why would so many beautiful peeps ever descend on the same luxurious concert hall in L.A.? (Or Akron, or Beijing...) We are asked to watch, meanwhile, in tense awe and wonder as the peeps announce the "winners;" (industrial) commercials flash throughout. We are asked to view and to engage, but not to identify too much with winners or losers. (We're all winners.)

The hollowing magic of the show is that each top-tier individual industrial player needn't care if it "wins" an award or not; it benefits from the attention the whole industry receives. Winners may receive additional attention and additional profit—but since businesses are rewarded for covering up foul play (not for playing fair), "winners" in a given industry can rarely be taken as exemplars of anything other than bribery, legalism, dogged pandering, and big fake self-contentment.

Indie web awards, your zine's "Rockinest Punk Outfit" gold-star, and straight As in middle school aside, I say ba-humfuck to the whole Oscar (etc.) season. Will watching three hours of canned "funny" and schmooze make Benjamin Button any more or less adorably wrinkly? (Or any shorter? Please?) Probably not.

But I could be wrong. The Academy could, say, reanimate F. Scott Fitzgerald and give him an afterlifetime achievement award for being an old famous trinomial dead bastard, a true Hollywood original whose sad life strikes biographers as its own (karmic) award/reward. FSF, his rotted mandible hanging from his face by a failing thread of spirit gum, could put the moves on a fake-smiling Miley Cyrus, then be beaten down by the ever-cool Clint Eastwood. I'd watch that.

In fact, I'd give it an A++.

-Wythe Marschall

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's all in the timing

I suck. A couple of weeks ago, Royal forwarded me an invite from L Magazine to go to some bar in the LES to cover the launch party for NYC comedian Demetri Martin's new Comedy Central show, Important Things with Demetri Martin. I thought it was a week later than it was, so I missed the damn thing.

I considered saying I went, and that the free beer flowed freely for a few hours, that OMG Demetri was totally there and gaw he's so frickin' cute couldn't you just die. And how I mustered up the courage to talk to him and I was terribly witty and charming and he laughed at all my jokes.

"Do you wanna get outta here? Somewhere more quiet where we can talk?" he asks, and I say sure. We go to the backroom at 'Inoteca and share a bottle of Pinot and then we fumble all over each other up against a dumpster somewhere on Ludlow and part ways, promising to find one another on Facebook or something equally tragic. Yeah. None of that happened.

But I did watch the premiere of his show Wednesday, and aptly enough, the theme of the show was "timing." Like Martin's live comedy show, the New Yorker incorporates his simple drawings, songs, and dry jokes in between sketches.

Many many Mondays ago, Martin ran a sort-of focus group at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre. He spent a good four hours testing jokes and airing sketches from his upcoming show. Martin was looking for feedback, but most of us were too polite, or sincerely enjoyed what we saw. The only person who looked like he wasn't having a good time was the guy who played Stanford on Sex and the City. He sat up front, all arms folded and sour-pussed. What the fuck was his deal? Am I right, ladies? A few eager geeks did opine some of the sketches dragged on a bit, but for the most part they worked. Perhaps I'm biased 'cause I totally wanna bone him. What can I say; I'm a sucker for a big nose.

Anyway, Martin definitely took the criticism to heart, and tightened up his little sketches. One of my favorites of last night's premiere was the "guy too early for a rave." Martin's in bike shorts, and his long hair that usually hangs in his eyes in just the most darling way was up in pigtails. He was dancing around in broad daylight among people going to work and doing day time stuff. It was a simple idea, as most of Martin's premises are, but the visual was hilarious.

At that UCB show, Martin was asked who influenced him. Not surprisingly, he counted Steven Wright as one of his top inspirations. Like Wright, Martin deadpans intelligent commentary on life observations as humor without copping to raunch. And like Wright, I would totally do him, in case I haven't made that crystal clear.

Make a friend with cable and check out Important Things with Demetri Martin, Wednesdays at 10:30 on Comedy Central.

-Megan Metzger

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm with the Band

Stepping into the small TriBeCa space that houses the Fall/Winter Band of Outsiders collection, I feel as though I've stepped onto the set of some lost 60s Godard film. Vintage set pieces create a surreal sort of Parisian cityscape (or is it Central Park, or the upper east side?) Bored schoolgirls sit idly in front of an old television, or on beds and park benches waiting for something to happen to them. The guys on the other hand, are active. Prepster boys pass the time playing chess, performing card tricks, climbing rope, and chatting up unseen persons on the telephone (presumably not the girls waiting at home) and jotting down in their little black books. It's Gossip Girl meets La Nouvelle Vague.

The collection, designed by former casting agent Scott Sternberg, is another strong effort. The girls managed to balance themselves on colorfully disruptive heels created in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik matched with contrasting tights. The women's clothing could be seen as surreal as the props in some parts, which left Sternberg himself getting confused in the titling process: naming one item as "a mohair blend colorblock sweater...err...thing" in the accompanying notes. The menswear had a similarly maddening twist on traditional prep, with suits made in wild patchworks and pinstripes with tape lined lapels. Striped cashmere sweaters and clip on bow ties completed the look. Sperry boat shoes (another shoe collaboration) in various hues were found on every male model.

Meanwhile, Kanye West was seen modeling along with some of the actors in this "film", and was overheard saying "[Sternberg] is making the greatest menswear in America right now". Perhaps the best thing he's said this year.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My last relationship came to a shocking halt 6 months ago when my live-in boyfriend surprised me with his first emotionally available comment of our four-year relationship: He wasn't in love with me anymore. Since then, I've joined pottery classes and trekked to sports bars, in search of New York bachelors. When all I ended up with was a couple of one-night stands and a set of lopsided clay bowls, I sheepishly followed the slogan - hey, it's ok to look - and signed my single life away to

While throwing back a couple $5 PBR/whiskey shot specials at Doc Hollidays, my friend Jill bet that I would find my Valentine on the site. I wasn't exactly holding out, since the last email in my inbox read, "I first want to say that I love your personality very much and I really want you in marriage. Please don't waste a moment of our life, let us form a great couple, and then a great family. Waiting for your reply very soon…"

After my rendezvous with Rob, a law student who showed up 30 minutes late to tell me he already met someone, I decided I was done with online dating. If I wanted to pay for humiliation, I would have joined a sorority in college. As I signed in to cancel my membership, I noticed a message, from DateMe007 in the UK. I figured Newcastle was far enough away from New York so I wouldn't have to actually go on a date with him.

As I started speaking with the scruffy, pee-in-your-pants-funny, photographer - aka DateMe007 - I realized he was the first guy I would actually want to meet. An emotionally available dreamer, he encourages me to talk about things my ex would have never discussed and... he listens.

My charming British pen pal was the outlet I was looking for to help me figure out what I need in a relationship. This year, I'm spending Valentine's Day with my single girlfriends, but I'll be getting all the affection and encouragement I need from my inbox.

-Lauren Defilippo

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ladies, Thank the Lesbians

At parties, my spouse and I are often mistaken for friends or roommates because we share mascara, and we have long hair.

We are players of board games and readers of used books, the latter being our foremost weakness and indulgence. We have a private definition of "dirty" that is completely unrelated to sex. Overhead lights, with their dull flicker, are dirty. Sleeping past ten is dirty. Drive-through meals, video games, thick eyeliner and crooked bathmats: dirty. Hopefully, such a list does not reveal a simmering core of elitism, but rather a domestic suitability that is nonpareil and deeply satisfying.

We are perfect valentines, but there is a catch.

Because we are two girls, we are regarded as single. It doesn't matter if I place my hand on her lower back when we walk; it doesn't matter that we wear matching wedding bands. When we measure our options for Valentine's Day, we consider the fact that we will probably be the only table of two women at the restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia where we live. We factor in the sympathetic glances we'll receive- poor things can't get a date - and we predict that a server might ask us, "Leaving the boys at home tonight?"

No, in fact, we did not leave the boys at home.

Consequentially, I implore straight girls to hesitate before demanding chocolates and flowers. Perhaps part of the valentine can be what other people see when you are together. When he pulls your chair out for you at a restaurant, people will assume he is your date. If he buys roses, people will know he is bringing them home to your delicate hands.

I am well versed in all of the reasons this should not matter to me. I do not need strangers to validate my relationship; I do not need to see myself on TV to feel important. The fact is that I am not particularly bitter when no one can tell that I'm on a date with my spouse. Leaving the boys at home tonight? is one of our favorite jokes. The source of my frustration does not come from marriage to a woman; rather, it comes from my friendship with men.

In some ways, one of the greatest things about being a lesbian is men. Friendship with men is not always free of sexual tension, but there is a level of relaxation, even of giddiness, that comes from people who are not categorically doomed to be either competitors or predator and prey. Additionally - and for this all straight women should be grateful - men practice their good behavior on their lesbian friends. They are considerate to the point of insanity; they are freer with compliments, because there is no context for immediate suspicion. They notice our shoes and jewelry. They take our arms on stairs; they never, ever walk through doorways before us. Clearly, I am not the kind of lesbian who resists the roots of chivalry; on the contrary, chivalry can make my day. Dearest straight girls, let chivalry be your valentine, or let your valentine be this: if you link arms with your boyfriend and walk down the street, everyone will see it for what it is.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pomp Culture - Video edition

Ever get the feeling that time is moving by fast, too fast in fact, much too fast to keep track of all the cool new videos, and hip new grooves? The feeling that if you faltered midstep for even a split-second, you'll get hit by a bus that's cooler, smarter, funner and ... well faster than you? No? You don't get that feeling? It's just me? That's cool too. It doesn't matter. I just wanted you to take time out of your busy little day to enjoy some sweet-ass video clips, running the gamut from art and culture, to binge-drinking and Alexander Hamilton, and of course Mormon fishes.

First off we have a clip from the Friends We Love Project. Featuring the infamous Poster Boy (official friend of Pomp)!

Next we have songstress Lykke Li showing the true meaning of Hustlin', all the while reminding me of the true meaning of "girl crush".

Lykke Li @ NTBR Part 4 - "Hustlin'" from Drew Innis on Vimeo.

And my crushes on Michael Cera and Alexander Hamilton can be satisfied with one Youtube video??? Where someone drunkenly recounts history, while others (maybe drunkenly maybe not, you decide) re-enact it.

I'm saving my personal favorite for last, the mormon narwhal video. My friends at Curious Expeditions helped me find this one, when we were having one of our late night, half-intelligible conversations about Youtube copycat tactics. How one video will spur a bunch of copycats, and how it's been that way for a while, no matter how apathetic and lazy we all supposedly are. This video below, is definitely one I wouldn't mind copycatting.

Let me know which one is your favorite, or let me know which videos you think should have made the cut instead.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Packing Heat In The Hood

It’s cold and dark outside, but as the weekend comes to a close the promise of fresh salsa lures me out of my warm, Park Slope apartment. After enduring a long, circuitous subway ride around Sunday night track work, I finally meet the Pomp team for a much anticipated taste test at the Bushwick birthplace of the Brooklyn Salsa Company

The homegrown business was cooked up by friends Rob Bowman and Matt Burns, whose loft space inside a converted 19th century manse—once home to a pre-eminent German singing society—acts as office, kitchen, and living quarters. In a nod to its musical roots, the imposing brick building is now dubbed the Opera House Lofts and is home to a community of young, free-spirited residents who eagerly feed on the salsa-supply from apartment 112.

“It’s a hipster dorm,” explains Bowman as he guides me and the Young brothers (Royal and Fury) to the subterranean common room, where ping pong tables, plaid shirts, and Michael Jackson provide the backdrop for the salsa-fest in progress. On the table before us, buckets of freshly baked tortilla chips flank trays of cilantro-infused taco fixins, which solicit copious salsa consumption from all in attendance. And that’s just the point for CTO (Creative Taste Operator) Burns, who has learned that free food is the best way to transform friends into flavor analysts.

In fact, the idea for BK Salsa was sparked in the Opera House basement on a night just like this one last April. With praise for Matt’s ever-present, always fresh party snack at a fever pitch, the realization that his tomato-based offerings were good enough to sell, dawned on him and marketing-minded buddy Rob. With the help of a third partner, Jake O’Connor, and all the Opera House taste buds, they have since embarked on a collaborative effort to craft a city-centric line of salsas. There’s one flavor for each borough, resulting in a creative and often surprising mix of ingredients that mirrors the diversity of the Big Apple and offers an irreverent take on traditional conceptions of salsa. It’s an appetizing model well worth exploring.

So, with chips in hand, I begin in a burnt over borough meant for diehards that know how to handle a bit of heat. Initial signs from The Bronx’s fire-roasted chunks of eggplant point me not to Mexico but to the Indian sub-continent, thanks to a surprising curry cameo on the tongue. It’s nothing like my tropical escape to Queens, apparently felt by subway riders emerging into the sun from the Manhattan underworld. The sweet, orange-colored concoction is a pleasant blend of cooling pineapple mixed with Caribbean spices and coconut milk. But not to be outdone as a Manhattan getaway is Staten Island’s suburban salsa verde, which works as a fresh marinade for the evening’s “taco meat,” an oversized portion of pink salmon steak.

While the least exciting of the bunch is the mild-mannered Manhattan, a simple taqueria style salsa, it does act as a good palette cleanser for the trademark Brooklyn variety. That hiccup-inducing blend includes four unique peppers that slowly marinate in my mouth before compelling another dip of the chip. I later devour half a jar on my couch at home, succumbing to the insatiable quality of the chips and salsa experience. “That,” says Matt, “is what New York’s all about. You simply can’t get enough.”

Nor can this city’s way of life be narrowly defined, except to call it eclectic. And that is just the word for BK Salsa. In short, opines Jake, who like Matt is an aspiring actor by day, “our lives make up the salsa.”

As they continue to work towards perfecting all five recipes with as many organic ingredients as they can afford, this artsy, fresh-faced trio of twenty-something entrepreneurs enjoys an outlook characterized by more pomp than circumstance. “We want to bring BK Salsa to the international scene,” declares Matt, who envisions a future roll out of other urban-based salsas and perhaps even a chain of Chipotle style eateries in places as unfamiliar with Mexican-influenced cuisine as Australia. Jake meanwhile, talks about bringing the brand beyond the gastronomic and into the world of fashion, while Rob, influenced by Paul Newman’s philanthropic efforts and his uncle’s own bout with cancer, emphasizes his desire to donate a portion of future profits to charity.

But as they search for the big investment dollars necessary to really launch this project off the ground, they haven’t lost sight of their local circumstances: “Giving back to the community is key,” explains Rob. They’ve already teamed with a number of area bands to host a slew of successful salsa-backed fundraisers.

As our expanded group of five makes its way back to the Myrtle Ave J stop following the party, our take home buckets of salsa attract the excited attention of a hungry passerby eager to talk salsa with us. This stuff, it seems, is already a local hit.

-Jake Englander
(Photos: Amanda Segur)

Monday, February 2, 2009

For Haught or For Naught?

From booze soaked New Year's nights our country's collective hangover was cured by the Inauguration. After a month of resolutions and very real recession, we wanted nothing more than to come up with a list of the highs and lows for January--not including global warming. This is the result of our brilliant brainstorming and bickering.

1) Bacon Bits
2) Philip Roth
3) Problem Solving
4) Atlantic City
5) Speed Walking
6) Street Meat
7) Black Ops *This is a Brooklyn Brewery blend
8) Hot Toddies
9) Trojans
10) Coin Collecting

1) Peanut Butter
2) Great books into shitty movies
3) Leo & Kate
4) Tax Season
5) The MTA (L train not running + posterboy ambushed = fuck you)
6) Pigeons
7) Gold Unitards
8) Winter that's actually cold
9) Octuplets
10) Billionaires

What do you think? Did we nail it or put a nail in our Pompculture coffin? We've challenged the shutter happy at photodrifting to capture images that illustrate our list. The best results of their flashbulbs will be posted. For more Haught & Naught check out Pomp & Circumstance does politics when our print issue hits the stands later this month.

-The Editors