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Bedrockk Shares Sleek Dancehall Rework of Robin S.'s 'Show Me Love' Feat. Lyrique: Exclusive

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 11:00am
It all started with a Skype call and an a cappella riff. San Francisco via Denver producer Bedrockk, a.k.a. Dave Marquess, was working on...
Categories: Music Industry

Gwen Stefani's Makeup Artist on Her New Look: 'With A New Love, She's Feeling Very Flirty and Feminine'

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 11:00am
In 1995, a relatively unknown Gwen Stefani went to the MAC cosmetics counter at Nordstrom in L.A. She asked Gregory Arlt -- then...
Categories: Music Industry

Country Singer Maren Morris on Her Hit 'My Church' and Country's Changing Landscape -- 'It Has Come to a Fever Pitch'

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 11:00am
Maren Morris has reason to sing praises -- the 25-year-old Texan hits the top 10 on Country Airplay with her debut single, “My...
Categories: Music Industry

Watch Marc E. Bassy Supply Good Vibes in His 'Having Fun' Video: Premiere

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 11:00am
Marc E. Bassy strums his cares away in his new video for "Having Fun." Shot during the opening of San Francisco's new...
Categories: Music Industry

Unlike Pluto Premieres 'Waiting For You' Feat. Joanna Jones: Exclusive

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:26am
Los Angeles producer Unlike Pluto has gained momentum this past year owing to a re-brand and official remixes for big names such...
Categories: Music Industry

Soulstress Snoh Aalegra Recruits John Mayer for 'Under The Influence': Premiere

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:23am
Soulstress Snoh Aalegra lays it out on her mini-album Don't Explain. With bluesy vocals that echo greats like Amy Winehouse...
Categories: Music Industry

Stone Roses Recording First New Album In More Than A Decade

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:22am
The last time the Stone Roses released an album the American president was named Clinton. Could there be another Clinton headed to the White...
Categories: Music Industry

ACM Party For A Cause Festival’s Activations, Brand Partnerships Announced

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:17am
The Academy of Country Music has announced the partners, activities and special events taking [...]
Categories: Music Industry

New Apple TV Ad Stars 'Game of Thrones' Actor Fumbling a Jeremih Song

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:09am
On Game of Thrones, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is pretty good at pushing kids out of windows and passionately kissing his on-screen sister, but take him...
Categories: Music Industry

Tomorrow's Hits: MadeInTYO, Tucker Beathard & Christine and the Queens

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:00am
On Fridays, Billboard presents Tomorrow's Hits, a weekly look at new and noteworthy acts making their way toward Billboard chart success....
Categories: Music Industry

Weekly Chart Report (3/25/16)

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:55am
Just days after being named the 2016 ACM New Duo/Group of the Year, Old Dominion secure their second consecutive […]
Categories: Music Industry

This Week In Photography Books: Haley Morris-Cafiero

A Photo Editor's Blog - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:47am

by Jonathan Blaustein

I used to be overweight as a kid.

Not always, but often. I would gain and lose weight, in phases, but I never had a perfect body.

I still don’t.

Hell, at my wedding, I must have weighed 20 pounds more than I do now, courtesy of Tony’s Pizza in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Sample conversation:

“Tonys!”

“Hi, I’d like to order a large grandpa pizza for delivery please.”

“No prahlem.”

Do that every Friday for six months, and you too can pack on the pounds. The aftermath might not be pretty, but damn, that shit tastes good.

All kidding aside, any discussion of the concurrent obesity and diabetes epidemics in the United States is likely to be fraught. It almost perfectly pits the personal against the societal, and that’s not a battle that can be won.

In one corner, we have identity politics and issues around body shaming. Who are you to tell me how I should look? Or to judge me because of how much I weigh? It’s discrimination, it’s wrong, and you are an asshole for even thinking that my body is your business.

In the opposite corner, we have a genuine public health crisis, with millions of people eating themselves into disease. Why that happens is related to poverty, culture, access to healthy food, cooking knowledge, government subsidies for corn production, and the insidious advertising and food science efforts put forth by large multinational corporations peddling crap food.

Like I said, this issue is a field of quicksand suspended above a Florida-sink-hole. (Good intentions get sucked down faster than a shrimp-head at a Louisiana crawfish boil.)

Enter Art into the discussion, a notoriously subjective product that revels in ambiguity, and you’re guaranteed to draw some attention. And so it has been, for three projects I’ve noticed over the last few years.

Jen Davis, and then Samantha Geballe, have both photographed their large bodies in a self-portraiture format. Ms. Davis, whose work I saw at the Library of Congress, and wrote about, uses color. Samantha, whom I met at the Medium Festival a couple of years ago, and also wrote about, prefers black and white.

They both made striking, uncomfortable, compelling images of their own bodies. They stood in for the masses with weight issues and said, “Here I am. Look! Don’t avert your gaze. I am worthy of your attention, every bit as much as a skinny model with vapid eyes!”

Both artists subsequently underwent gastro-bypass surgery. (How’s that for ambiguity?)

I’m not sure about Ms. Davis, but Samantha has also documented her new body, and the vestiges of her old one. The pictures are great, and will be on display at the Houston Center of Photography from May 13-June 10.

Really striking stuff.

There is one other artist I know of working with these themes: Haley Morris-Cafiero. I heard about her project, “Weight Watchers,” but as sometimes happens, I knew of it, saw tweets about it, but never caught the pictures themselves, beyond a social media thumbnail. (The iconic pic of her walking on the beach.)

A few weeks ago, a respected colleague wrote to see if Ms. Morris-Cafiero could send me a book for a potential review.

I said sure, as I always do, with the caveat that I never know what I’ll review until I pick it up. This one, most definitely, is worth discussing here.

So let’s get on with it.

“The Watchers,” published by the Magenta Foundation, is a book that grabs you from the cover, quite literally. There are words embossed into the white rubber/plastic coating, and red text leaps off in the other direction. The words seem to come from comments about the project, and are a little incendiary.

(Sample: “You are courageous. You rule. Fuck everyone.”)

The overall design is excellent, as the red text on white returns again and again, as Internet comments are juxtaposed against each other. Negative trolls on the left hand side, positive supporters on the right. According to this format, this artist seems to summon wrath and kindness in equal measure.

But what does she do? What is her take on this very tricky subject?

Well, near as I can tell, she walks or stands around, while an assistant waits to snap the shutter the second someone looks askance at Ms. Morris-Cafiero.

Really, that’s the gist of it.

Ms. Morris-Cafiero, who is overweight, stands around by the side of a walkway, or in Times Square, or under the Eiffel Tower, and the camera-person captures people who look at her.

The obvious message is that people are put off by her body, which is often visible, as she wears bathing suits or workout clothes. The picture quality is good-but-not-amazing, as it seems as if these were snapped with a compact point and shoot camera, or maybe a digital SLR?

Things like light quality, color palette, and formal compositions are understated, I gather, to enhance the feeling of reality as it happens. But by gutting the efforts of technique, it puts a lot of pressure on content.

This is obviously a very smart idea, but I’m not sure it stands up to deeper scrutiny. There are several images in which passersby shoot Ms. Morris-Cafiero some serious shade; pictures in which you can tell that random strangers are being rude.

A few, yes.

But there are other images in which the strangers’ intentions are much less clear. A sideways glance is not an indictment of someone else’s character.

Furthermore, in many of the set-ups, Ms. Morris-Cafiero adopts very noticeable body positions. Her feet are splayed, or she looks confused, or dazed. Then there are the pictures in which she is holding a map, and looking confused, which will certainly draw the attention of many a person walking down a city street.

Despite the fact that I’ve already admitted this is a complicated subject, I’ll openly state that people who body-shame, or mad-dog someone else just because of how much they weigh?

Those people are dickheads.

There.
I said it.

But just because it happens to Haley Morris-Cafiero does not mean that I have to love her art project. Especially as I’ve seen, and written about, other projects that deal better in nuance.

This feels more like a Jackass outtake, to me. It’s clever, original, and clearly means well. I get the ideas it wants me to get. So it’s successful in that regard.

Maybe it’s even intentional? A viral-esque style for a project that was always going to go viral?

But it also feels like it’s taking advantage of some of the strangers, judging them the way Ms. Morris-Cafiero feels judged. I was inclined to like this project, but came away feeling unsure.

Or maybe it’s just that by making it a book, she included images that don’t support her message? Too many pictures made me think: “That’s not a dirty look. That’s just someone turning his/her head.”

What this book did is put me in an uncomfortable place, and I think that’s a big part of its allure. (Structural metaphor, anyone?) Do anything other than lavish praise, and I set myself up to be accused of being disrespectful, or biased. As I’ve written at length about so many difficult issues over the years, I’m clearly not afraid to offend.

So let me end thusly: This is a very interesting, edgy book, that draws attention to a murky, difficult subject. I think this artist has done something smart, if flawed, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.

Bottom Line: Edgy, well-designed, but imperfect book

To Purchase “The Watchers” Visit Photo-Eye

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Categories: Business

Stevie Erickson Joins Red Vinyl Music, Weds Jesse Frasure

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:45am
Stevie Frasure (formerly Stevie Erickson) has joined Red Vinyl Music as Sr. Creative Director. [...]
Categories: Music Industry

Four Bands Move To City Finals On The Road To Roo

MusicRow.com - Nashville Music Industry - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:40am
The Road to Roo, presented by BMI and hosted by Lightning 100, has announced the four bands [...]
Categories: Music Industry

Conan O'Brien, Seth Meyers Share Garry Shandling Stories on Late Night

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:26am
Late-night TV hosts took time to pay tribute to comedian Garry Shandling on their Thursday night episodes. Conan O'Brien and Seth Meyers each...
Categories: Music Industry

Garry Shandling's Death Likely Caused By Heart Attack, Doctors Tell Rep

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:17am
Garry Shandling's spokesman says doctors believe the comedian died from a heart attack on Thursday, March 24. Alan Nierob says Shandling had no...
Categories: Music Industry

10 Sexiest Lyrics From Zayn's 'Mind of Mine'

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:00am
Zayn is all grown up and not part of a teenage boy band anymore, no siree, on his new album Mind of Mine, which dropped today (March 25).  As...
Categories: Music Industry

U2 to Receive Innovator Award at iHeartRadio Music Awards

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 9:00am
U2 will be presented with the 2016 iHeartRadio Innovator Award at Sunday's third annual iHeartRadio Music Awards show.  The honor comes as...
Categories: Music Industry

Sony Elevates Michael Lynton, Three Others to 'Corporate Executive Officer' Roles

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 8:57am
Sony Corp. said Friday it would elevate four top executives, including Sony Entertainment and Sony Corp. of America CEO Michael Lynton, to "...
Categories: Music Industry

Fifth Harmony 'Work' It On 'Kimmel,' Drop New Track 'This Life'

Billboard.com - Fri, 03/25/2016 - 8:27am
Thursday night was a busy one for the ladies of Fifth Harmony, who performed their hit single "Work From Home" on Jimmy Kimmel Live ...
Categories: Music Industry

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