Monthly Archives: May 2011

➤ FHM says “Pass the sick bucket” after readers vote Andrej Pejic one of the “Sexiest Women”

Andrej Pejic

Pejic wears Tina Kalivas. Photography © Stephen Ward for

❚ THE US EDITION OF FHM magazine has posted an apology on its website for publishing offensive remarks about the 19-year-old Australian male model Andrej Pejic. Readers had voted him number 98 on its list, “100 Sexiest Women in the World 2011”, ahead of Lady Gaga. Following publication three weeks ago, yesterday the mag finally removed his online profile after complaints about its anti-gender-bender stance on the Haus of Andrej Pejic blog.

The original FHM text published May 5 [see below] written by the mag’s evidently chauvinist editors was indeed downright insulting, considering that Pejic’s androgynous appearance (stats: 6ft 2in tall, 36-in waist, UK shoe size 10)  had after all caught the fancy of FHM’s metrosexual readers in the first place.

Headed “Why we love Andrej Pejic”, the online text read: “Although his sexual identity is ambiguous, designers are hailing him as the next big thing. We think ‘thing’ is quite accurate. Tall, skinny and flat-chested . . . the blonde gender-bender has jumped the gun in hoping he might one day be signed as a Victoria’s Secret Model (Pass the sick bucket).” [Victoria’s Secret is a US retailer of chic and sexy women’s clothing.]

FHM magazine FHM’s apology blamed slackness in its own ranks: “Regrettably the copy accompanying Andrej’s online entry wasn’t subbed [ie, checked] prior to going live. FHM has taken steps to ensure this can never happen again.”

Dossier Journal, Andrej Pejic, censorship

In an earlier Pejic controversy, Huffington Post asked on May 16: Should this cover be censored? — 31% said Yes! Too racy for the magazine rack. 69% said No! It’s a shirtless guy. Big deal. (Dossier cover art by Collier Schorr)

FHM’s editorial debacle follows a separate anti-Pejic episode mid-month when Dossier Journal’s cover pictured the model wearing his blond hair rolled in curlers while removing his shirt. reported: “News-stands are covering the image for being too risqué. Little do they know they’re censoring the image of a shirtless man. Katherine Krause, Dossier’s Editor-In-Chief, says that bookstores have been made aware of Pejic’s gender but will move forward with the censoring. What’s more, it’s Dossier’s financial responsibility to pay for the black poly bags with which their distribution people must cover the magazines.”

Bosnian-born Pejic told New York magazine’s Party Lines: “The question really isn’t the gender of the person on the cover, it’s whether it’s porn or it’s art. And clearly, it’s art, so art really should not be censored in a democratic society.”

FHM magazine, Andrej Pejic, 100 Sexiest Women in the World,

FHM's original profile of Andrej Pejic published online May 5, 2011. (Source: Haus of Andrej Pejic)

➢ FOOTNOTE — Topping the FHM 100 were 1 Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, 2 Katy Perry, 3 Rihanna



➤ Taste Masters from oop North aim to put passion back into pop

Super 8 Cynics, Taste Masters, Laboratory Project, downloads,

“Anthemic pop” from Burnley: Super8 Cynics were session musicians assembled by vocalist Ady Hall

Laboratory Project, Fac251❚ HERE IS “A UTOPIAN VISION” as an antidote to the reign of Simon Cowell’s production-line X-Factor performers. The Preston-based Laboratory Project makes enormous claims about “supporting artists with integrity, skill and soul to break into the music industry”, backed by studio space and its production and engineering team, plus expertise in marketing and independent brand development. The project was founded in 2008 by Tony Rigg, a hospitality entrepreneur who previously spent 18 months as operations director at the Ministry of Sound.

 Taste Masters, Laboratory Project, downloads, Tony Rigg,

Tony Rigg: “integrity, skill and soul”

The Lab is concerned to return both creatively and commercially to the roots of a band-led scene and to rekindle passion in the music-making that it promotes. The creative division claims to deliver “unparalleled music and multimedia experiences via a record label which represents a coalition of artists as a complete rethink of what a label should be for today”.

Rigg has said: “It has become more important how music looks than how it sounds. The X Factor is an extremely effective, headline grabbing, money-making machine. For many artists it is incredibly difficult to get original music heard. The Laboratory Project exists for the people who want something more from music.”

This weekend the label launched Taste Masters 2, its second eclectic compilation CD with 11 tracks of music “derived from human performance, solo artists and collaborations” — 80 musicians who include The Salford Jets, Jimmy Docherty and Antistar, as well as bands who had not previously released their work commercially such as Super 8 Cynics, Straightlaces, China White and Dresden. The original 14-track Taste Masters compilation album has been available for download since October and included Drama King, Evenhand, Fez, The Horn Brothers, Our Day Remains, Helvelyn 2 and Osiris.

➢ The Laboratory Project record label and store where
Taste Masters 2 is available as CD and download

Taste Masters, Laboratory Project, downloads, Our Day Remains ,alt rock,

Alternative rock from Bolton: Our Day Remains showcased their single Break Down the Bridge on the first Taste Masters album


➤ Knock-knock, fashion gems on a shoestring

Amwell Street Knocking Shop, pop-up-shop,vintage fashion,London

Faces behind the Amwell Street Knocking Shop: Chris McMillan, Princess Julia, Karlie Shelley, Josh Quinton, Mich Dulce, Felicity Hayward, Emily Rose England

❚ A POP-UP SHOP THAT RUNS FOR A MONTH, that’s The Amwell Street Knocking Shop. Strictly speaking, it’s open Fris–Sats–Suns, noon–8pm until Sun June 26 (weekdays by appointment only). Events and art installations are promised, plus celeb sales assistants, and cult film screenings downstairs chosen by guest curators. But the core business is selling archive and vintage clothing and accessories sourced by an impressive team of now tastemakers: Karlie Shelly, Felicity Hayward, Josh Quenton, Lauren Webb, Princess Julia, Yasmina Dexter, Pinkie Love, Pam Hogg, Joe Corre, Ben Westwood, Vivienne Westwood, Judy Blame, Flora Starkey, Noki, Mich Dulce, Noah Crutchfield.

Amwell Street Knocking Shop, pop-up-shop,vintage fashion,London,Alexander McQueen

Past bargains in Amwell Street: Alexander McQueen backless dress, plus assorted vintage items including books

Amwell Street Knocking Shop, pop-up-shop,vintage fashion,London,Vivienne Westwood

Past bargains in Amwell Street: Piers Atkinson studded blue beret, Vivienne Westwood two-buckle shoes

➢ Find The Amwell Street Knocking Shop at No 63, postcode EC1R 1UR, nearest tube Angel Islington (tel 020 7833 5512)


➤ Brett on the love that created “a Suede landscape” in the tribal 80s

Brett Anderson, Suede, 2011, concerts, interview, beat magazine

Brett Anderson: “emulating people shouldn’t be about wanting to sound like them”

STRICTLY SPEAKING, Suede were a supercool guitar band of the 80s, having come together in 1989, though admittedly their hits followed in the 90s. Having reformed last year, alas without guitarist Bernard Butler, they released The Best Of Suede in November and tonight they play Suede’s music in sequence at the first of three gigs at London’s O2 Academy in Brixton May 19–21, plus Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, May 24–26. An interview with the current issue of BEAT magazine has singer Brett Anderson (“the lost boy of Britpop”) reflecting on the climate in which the band formed…

“As a teenager in the early 80s it was an incredibly tribal time, everyone at school was either a mod or a punk or a skinhead or a headbanger. Which gang you belonged to said who you were as a person. This was when I was thirteen or fourteen, when I first started buying records and I suppose that influenced the sort of band I wanted Suede to be, I wanted them to be the sort of band people would get tattooed. I wasn’t particularly interested in Suede just being liked; I was only really interested in Suede being loved.

Best of Suede, 2011, Brett Anderson“Suede was about the intense passion of being loved as a band and constructing a universe for people to dive into and that was all part of the iconography of the sleeves and the worlds I sang about and possibly the over-use of lots of the imagery was all part of it. Maybe it was all part of my need to belong somewhere. We established a Suede landscape, and I always loved those bands that did that. Maybe it’s a very much over-used reference point but I did grow up loving The Smiths records and loving what they did and the kind of tribalism they created.

“I never wanted to be The Smiths, emulating people shouldn’t be about wanting to sound like them. I was talking to Jamie from Klaxons and he said he was a huge Suede fan when he was growing up and that Suede were the reason he wanted to be in a band. You listen to Klaxons, and they don’t sound anything like Suede and that’s the biggest compliment. That they took something of the spirit of Suede, they didn’t rip off the cord sequences, they didn’t rip off the words and they didn’t dress like Suede.

➢ Read Brett’s full interview with
Daryoush Haj Najafi in BEAT

“They just took something of the spirit and sense of aiming to achieve something that was meant to be a little bit unachievable. And they created this incredible very original band. I’m really proud of that sort of influence. It’s the same with Bloc Party. There’s all these bands, that have told me that Suede have been incredibly influential, but they don’t sound like Suede, that’s almost like a double compliment for me.”

❏ Brett also deals with drugs, androgyny, Justine and Bernard — “I actually put an advert in the NME, that’s how I met Bernard. It read, ‘Must like Pet Shop Boys, The Smiths, David Bowie and Lloyd Cole and The Commotions. No musos, no beginners, some things are more important than ability’.”

➢ Suede headline July’s Latitude Festival in Suffolk


2011 ➤ Duran’s round-the-world adventure reaches the UK

SXSW, interview, John Norris, Duran Duran

Duran interviewed at SXSW in March: Simon Le Bon checks a runaway thought before the audience jumps to the wrong conclusion (SXSW video grab)

❚ UPDATE, JULY 1: Following the postponement of Duran Duran’s European arena tour owing to singer Simon Le Bon’s vocal problems, consult the band’s website for news… DD have rescheduled all eleven UK concerts to run from Nov 30 Brighton to Dec 17 Newcastle.

❚ UPDATE, MAY 29: Duran Duran now offer a fulsome apology for having to cancel their current UK tour dates — not, as sceptics suspected, because of unsold tickets but because of singer Simon Le Bon’s continuing “laryngeal problems”. Their website today reports: “Following a consultation with both a vocal coach and his team of ENT specialists today, Simon Le Bon has been advised that he needs to continue to rest his voice… Devastated by the news that they will not be able to resume the tour as planned on Tuesday, Simon said ‘We’ve been postponing shows with very little notice, in the hope each day that the improvement would have been significant enough for me to sing again without risking any long-term damage’.”

View John and Nick’s special video apology at YouTube . . . Today too, Roger Taylor blogs on the DD website on the horrible irony of Woody Allen’s famous quotation “If you want make God laugh, tell him about your plans” and he makes the promise: “I know that all the shows are very close to being re-scheduled later in the year.” . . . Read Simon Le Bon’s blog at DD’s website on June 1: “I reckon I got 6 semi-tones wiped off the top of my range and … it’s very difficult not to worry about it.”

❏ Here’s a sparky interview with the band just released by the SXSW festival, recorded in March. With former MTV reporter John Norris in the chair, Nick Rhodes says he still sees Duran as an art-school band and John Taylor reflects on the golden era of MTV. Stills from this interview have been posted at Flickr

Duran Duran, L'Uomo Vogue,Pierpaolo Ferrari
❏ This stylish tuxedoed shot by Pierpaolo Ferrari comes from the current “Long Live the 80s” issue of L’Uomo Vogue, with a feature on DD by former Wag club host Chris Sullivan, translated for the Italian edition.


❏ It was 30 years in March since the 80s supergroup’s debut single Planet Earth peaked at No 12 in the UK chart… This year their 14-track CD of AYNIN spent five weeks on the UK album chart.

❏ View highlights from Duran Duran’s Unstaged online concert March 23 at the Mayan theatre, Los Angeles, in 1080p HD at the band’s Vevo channel on YouTube /DuranDuranVEVO. Click here to find which global regions are licensed to view highlights at YouTube. The four DD Unstaged concert tracks most viewed via Vevo in the first three weeks after the live webcast drew more than 1.5m views — these are All You Need is Now with 700,930 views, then Notorious 298,505, Planet Earth 290,477, and Friends of Mine 274,935 way out ahead of all other tracks, most of which pulled only four-figure audiences.

John Taylor, Nick Rhodes, Duran, Facebook Live, interview, thequietus, SXSW❏ Rhodes and Taylor give a 30-minute video interview on including live Q&A (right) on March 30, 2011.

❏ Rhodes and Le Bon give a seven-minute video history of DD for ABC News, Jan 2011 — “Rio was the album that made us the biggest band in the world. It made us big in America”

❏ Duran have been blessed by an interview at Quietus, its holiness the online magazine whose touchstone is “reverence” and claims “we’re not afraid of surprising our readers”. Writer Simon Price delivers two surprises. Plus this list of post-80s albums the band think most deserve to be listened to: The Wedding Album (1993) … Pop Trash (2000) … Medazzaland (1997) … Astronaut (2004).

❏ On the current AYNIN tour Duran Duran played North America and Mexico March 16–April 27, just before their 11-date UK tour from Newcastle to Sheffield May 18–June 4. They take in Berlin on May 26 and continue across Europe, Paris to Bergen June 10–Aug 28. [Update — These were the original plans, which were substantially cancelled in May and June.] In between they return to the UK for the V Festival on both Aug 20 and 21.

Duran Duran, All You Need Is Now, video, Nick Egan
♫ View Nick Egan’s Bacofoil video for All You Need Is Now, DD’s comeback single at Yahoo Music — available worldwide on iTunes. A 14-track CD package of the same name was released in March for most of Europe, Australia, Far East and North America with South America following in April.

♫ Listen to two new Duran tracks premiered on NYC’s East Village Radio.

➢ Elsewhere at Shapersofthe80s — 1980, How Duran Duran’s road to stardom began in the Studio 54 of Birmingham