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PAY ATTENTION, KIDS
Stretch Armstrong > Cobrasnake > Huck Gee > Fresh Manila > Kirby Ann Basken > Blah Blah Blah
PUBLISHER x Gian Herrera x Rosario Herrera x Whiz Kids Publishing EDITOR-IN-CHIEF x Paolo Lorenzano ASSOCIATE EDITOR x Margie de Leon FASHION EDITOR x Rosario Herrera ART DIRECTOR x Switchblade! DESIGNERS x Revo Naval x Joseph Valderrama x Gia Banaag MARKETING DIRECTOR x Sandro Paredes MARKETING STAFF x Mesh Villanueva x Angela Litton CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS x Nick Saint James x the Revolution x Mark the Cobrasnake x Chuck Le Chuck This magazine is free, like Nelson Mandela. Itâ€™s also available digitally at WWW.STATUSMAGONLINE.COM For advertising opportunities, please email STATUSMAGAZINE1@GMAIL.COM or MAGAZINESTATUS@GMAIL.COM Or call (02)8901708 / (02)8956833 Status Magazine / Unit 3 / Ecoville / Metropolitan Ave / Makati
CHECK OUT COUNTER The ellipsis (…) is used way too frequently in print nowadays, what with its function as a pause in speech, an unfinished thought, or the trailing off into silence. It could not be more ironic, then, that Dotdotdot, one of the newest, most fashion-forward destination boutiques to recently set up shop in Manila, has this symbol of passive punctuation as its namesake. Found on the ground floor of Greenbelt 5, up-market consumers’ Mecca-of-themoment, Dotdotdot is a brainchild of the people behind Paul Smith, carrying several international cult fashion labels in its thrust to provide a wider, sharper range for the sartorial set. The rag trade, as this store clearly asserts, has kept far from silent.
fashion pedigree. Also gracing Dotdotdot’s racks are premium pieces from McQ, Gaspar Yurkievich, Opening Ceremony, S***R London, See by Chloe, b Store, and Eley Kishimoto—names that anyone hipper-than-thou should also have in their crib notes by now. Even the store’s own look possesses a chic disregard for design standards, with its boxy wooden columns a stark contrast to the rest of the industrial interiors—unfinished walls and all. In a time when everyone is on a mission to look edgier than the next guy, finding the freshest threads seems to have grown more and more daunting. The name Dotdotdot, then, can only be taken literally if it means a shopper rendered speechless. And very happily so.
Dictating impeccable taste these days is no longer the monopoly of a few big-name brands. From Erotokritos by Paris-based designer Erotokritos Antoniadis, to the pacesetting shoes, bags, and jewelry of Karine Arabian, to H&M offshoot Whyred, Dotdotdot champions the rise of new, innovative brands by having them fully comprise its selection, and mode mavens can shell out Php 10,000 to Php 20,000 each for those exclusive points to their
ACT UP Jazzed Mark Redito Spazzkid
for Spazz a.k.a.
but this lanky lad from Laguna always keeps his accounts updated with photos, performance scheds and fresh mp3s. He is currently doing remixes for local bands Taken by Cars and Ang Bandang is this country’s own Myspace Shirley, and is in the process of music maven. Spazz caused quite recording his debut album. For the buzz among tech-savvy music a greater dose of D.I.Y., scope fans the world over after out Spazz at http://spazzkid. uploading his quaint brand of multiply.com and http://www. electronica onto the usual slew myspace.com/ of social networking sites. His fame has since moved beyond cyberspace, with live gigs at Mag:Net High Street and Saguijo,
Air Miami, Me, Me, Me
music x movie x books x reviews
“Love Punch” The Chalets, Nightrock
“That’s Not My Name”
The Ting Tings, That’s Not My Name
The Ting Tings
Vibe: cheerleaders prance in the field of vengeance Word Cuts: They call me ‘hell’ / They call me ‘Stacey’ / They call me ‘her’ / They call me ‘Jane’ / That’s not my name
Death from Above 1979, You’re a Woman, I’m a Machine
Vibe: a grand war between tiny aliens wielding tiny laser guns Word Cuts: Fear is a powerful drug / Overcome it and / You think that you can do / Anything
Death from Above 1979
The Dead 60’s, You’re Not the Law
Vibe: ska for B-movie vampires Word Cuts: I never knew what a good time was / ‘Til I had a good time with you / When I see the green light, you see the red one / The better days to come on through
Handsome Boy Modeling School feat. Pharrell Williams and Julee Cruise, White People
Vibe: pimping out on classic 80’s cartoons Word Cuts: Somebody throws a baby / Oh shit / Do a spin move and catch it / And the crowd goes crazy
Vibe: Ultimate pool deck music for filthy-rich MILF’s. Word Cuts: Passing the gun / From father to feckless son / We’re climbing a landslide / Where only the good die young
Handsome Boy Modeling School
“Someone to Love”
Fountains of Wayne, Traffic and Weather
Fountains of Wayne
Vibe: yes, pop-rock can have an intelligent narrative Word Cuts: Beth McKenzie got the job of her dreams / Retouching photos for a magazine / Aimed at teens
Vibe: electro-reggae girl Word Cuts: Me, I’m a Thrill is to make it rules I break got me on the radar
for the angry Creator / up / The a place / Up
Jack Off Jill, Clear Hearts, Grey Flowers
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Show Your Bones
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Vibe: a 60’s protest song you can strip to Word Cuts: Passing the gun / From father to feckless son / We’re climbing a landslide / Where only the good die young
Edan, Beauty and the Beat
Vibe: a heavy metal guitarist with a nasty toothache Word Cuts: Be there for you someday soon / Don’t hold your breath / I’m on the move
“Leaders of the Free World”
“You’re Not the Law”
The Dead 60’s
Vibe: exceptionally bad-ass roller disco music Word Cuts: I’m coming home to a punch or a kiss / You tell me it’s your heart, but I know it’s your fist
“Turn It Out”
Vibe: the most hopeful-sounding “fucked up” ever recorded Word Cuts: Hey, hey / Hey, hey / I’m gonna get fucked up today
Vibe: should be the soundtrack to all mud-wrestling matches Word Cuts: You’re something like a phenomena / Something like an astronomer / Roll, kid, rock your body
Jack Off Jill
Vibe: enroll in Goth Poseur 101 Word Cuts: The poison that runs its course through her / Pale white skin / With strawberry gashes all over all over
“Sister Rosetta” The Noisettes, What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?
Joe Cocker, Across the Universe OST
Vibe: if the Beatles starred in a Viking opera Word Cuts: He wear no shoeshine / He got toe-jam football / He got monkey finger / He shoot Coca-Cola
“Nature of the Experiment”
White Rose Movement, Kick
Tokyo Police Club, A Lesson in Crime
Tokyo Police Club
Vibe: extra-wistful lads on a post-punk revival Word Cuts: It’s my impeccable disorder / Where I keep on falling for her / It’s not the way my mother talks / It’s not the people that she mocks
White Rose Movement
Vibe: Depeche Mode with way more balls Word Cuts: Crass synth beauty with a shyness so obscene / Throwaway girl an indispensable machine
The Whitest Boy Alive, Burning / Inflation
LCD Soundsystem, LCD Soundsystem
LCD Sound system
Vibe: frantic, high-octane Gospel music Word Cuts: ‘Cause baby / When I am laid in earth / May my laughter remain / Like your kiss blew me away
Vibe: electronica + jangly guitars + whiny vocals = feel-good music Word Cuts: You try making me wait / But you come undone / When you come undone
The Whitest Boy Alive
Vibe: indie rock for forlorn sleepyheads Word Cuts: Never had time to have my mind made up / Caught in a motion that I don’t wanna stop
Kings of Convenience, Riot on an Empty Street
Kings of Convenience
Vibe: lying in a field on a cold, cloudy afternoon Word Cuts: But I can’t stop listening to the sound / Of two soft voices blended in perfection / From the reels of this record that I found
The Gum Thief
Charlie Chan is Dead 2: A Home in the World edited by Jessica Hagedorn
The Gum Thief It blows the mind how many novels Douglas Coupland—Messiah of mass culture, the man who helped make pop fiction an intelligent, respectable literary genre—has under his belt. From his nowclassic Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture to the darkly sweet Eleanor Rigby, Coupland always manages to seize the grim nuances of the modern age and plant them in works that are every bit moving as they are funny. The Gum Thief, his twelfth offering, is yet another lovely assault on contemporary society, set this time along the sparkling aisles of an office supply superstore. The novel is a series of letters and journal entries mainly between two employees—Roger, a middleaged, divorced deadbeat,
and Bethany, a young, overweight Goth girl—both of whom are too aware of the sour vacuum their lives are in. Throughout the correspondence, Roger also shares bits of Glove Pond, his novel-in-progress. A comic plagiarism of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Glove Pond becomes another vessel for Roger’s anxieties, and is eagerly anticipated by Bethany from week to tortured week. Coupland manages a great feat of literary acrobatics with The Gum Thief. The shifts in voices and the novel-within-a-novel approach are done with staggering skill—proof that Coupland can’t be dismissed as just another minion of the pop culture reference. The man can write. Fuck it, he can make it matter.
Charlie Chan is Dead Published more than a decade after the first Charlie Chan, this anthology of Asian-American short fiction features more contemporary insights on having Eastern blood in a Western world. And it ain’t no Joy Luck Club. Fil-Am author Jessica Hagedorn, she of frenetic novels Dream Jungle, Gangster of Love, and Dogeaters, has once again selected a batch of short stories and novel excerpts that tell the hardships and hilarity of the half-breed with brass and eloquence. Eric Gamalinda’s “Formerly Known as Bionic Boy” follows a Flip named Efren X to the steps of New York’s City Hall, where Madame Marcos is being led in for trial. Ginu Kamani’s “Waxing the Thing” portrays the burgeoning business of bikini waxing in Bombay. Christina Chiu’s “Doctor” has Georgianna (Chinese name: Wong Lung Fang), an eating disorder specialist, taking her old uncle out for dinner at a Latino dive. Also featured are a Hawaiian ladyboy pageant dubbed “Mister Porma,” an Indian husband enchanted by a porn video, and a Vietnamese live-in cook for a lesbian couple. This collection very well proves that Flips, Twinkies, and the rest of this mongrel generation do have a home in the world. And that in every home lies a heady air of dysfunction to keep everyone well-entertained.
Wall and Piece by Banksy
Bunker Spreckels: Surfing’s Divine Prince of Decadence C.R. Stecyk III (author) and Art Brewer (photographer)
Wall and Piece Modern graffiti has earned its place as an (il)legitimate art form. Besides the naked city wall, the spray-paint style in all its brash fluorescence are easily found gracing shirts, books, CDs, etc. The now-ubiquitous quality of graffiti comes as no surprise in an age when shock is quickly losing its potency. Brit graffiti artist Banksy, however, has continued to provoke the world successfully with his works, his distinct stenciling style and satiric proficiency keeping the dignity of defacing public property. With Wall and Piece, a nice and thick picture book of Banksy’s handiwork, you can now bear witness to the many mock-terpieces he’s scattered across England (most of which have been painted over by authorities soon after unveiling). From Winnie the Pooh caught in a bear trap, to happy little children in gas masks, to anarchist rats in parachutes, these icons of irony reassure rebels the world over that pissing off The Man is still far from passé. Also as fascinating in Wall and Piece are the notes, quotes, and angry letters Banksy has compiled on his brand of aerosol attack. This book tells us that there is always something out there to be said and a need for someone with enough blind nerve to say it. MMDA Art, come and meet your fate.
Bunker Spreckels “I think there’s a certain responsibility that goes with having money…I’ll help a friend who’s in the hospital. Or if a chick gives me the clap or something, I’ll give her 20 bucks to go to the fucking doctor.” These words of wisdom are typical of Bunker Spreckels, a man who can be considered a pioneer of the celebrity heir phenomenon and is the subject of iced coffee table book Bunker Spreckels: Surfing’s Divine Prince of Decadence. The title, in all its rakish, inflated pretense, is an apt one. Heir to a $50M sugar fortune in Hawaii and stepson of Clark Gable, Spreckels shirked his family’s business obligations to surf, screw and spend in the seventies. His self-appointed moniker The Player was allencompassing of his character. He revolutionized surf board design, supposedly bedded over 40 women in a single week (he was keeping count), traveled, drugged himself up, hobnobbed with the likes of avant-garde filmmaker Kenneth Anger, and died from all his excess at 27. Besides photos of Spreckels throughout different periods of debauchery, the book also contains a lengthy interview dispensing the details of his short, sordid, spendthrift existence. Every megalomaniac would kill for their own coffee table bio, but only a few fascinating bastards like The Player deserve a tome like this one.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters
Aqua Teen Hunger Force It seems fairly easy to stretch out any program from Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim line-up into a full-length feature. Those who enjoy such randomly irreverent shows like The Brak Show, Sealab 2021, and Harvey Birdman: Attorney-at-Law are not exactly after seamless plots and convoluted character arcs (not to mention half-decent production value), but instead take pleasure in humor that is crass, off-kilter, and oftentimes completely irrational. This kind of content can fill 1½ hours of screen time without much effort and leave their audience good and perturbed. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters is exactly that glorious, entertaining mess and, for fans of Master Shake, Frylock and Meatwad, one that finally explains the origins of this bizarre trio. Also instrumental to the film’s story are the killer alien robot/exercise machine InsaneO-Flex, a floating watermelon, Plutonians Emory and Oglethorpe, and a chicken set on fire. Recurring characters like Carl, the Hunger Force’s cranky deadbeat neighbor, large-nippled Dr. Weird, and the Mooninites also make their appearance. In a time when full-length 3D-animated features like Shrek and Ratatouille make elegant imagery with heartwarming tales a cinema standard, a completely asinine alternative is called for. And really, what can be better than fast food made flesh?
The Ten From The Passion of the Christ to Bruce and Evan Almighty (God help us), modern-day moviegoers are no longer strangers to blockbusters with Biblical backgrounds. This newfound appreciation for flicks that aim to please and preach has also trickled down to the indie scene, with The Ten as a prime example. Directed and co-written by sketch comedy veteran David Wain, The Ten is a madcap series of vignettes starring a pretty nifty ensemble cast. Each decree of the Decalogue—and the dilemmas that arise from it—is presented in a surreal, modern-day context. In “Thou Shalt Worship No God Before Me,” Adam Brody becomes a cult celebrity after falling from a plane and getting stuck in the ground for the rest of his life. In “Thou Shalt Not Steal,” Winona Ryder makes off with the ventriloquist’s dummy she sexually fantasizes about. Paul Rudd, who introduces each story while stuck in Limbo, is made to choose between wife Famke Janssen and mistress Jessica Alba in “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery.” And unlike the Almighty films, each spot on The Ten isn’t mellowed down at the end with a cuddly moral lesson. Oftentimes, the characters are just left hanging, forever plagued by their sin and its comic consequences. Finally, a realist film about the Bible. Praise Jesus.
Photographed by Revolution
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Smooth Operator Stubble is so last season.
GO-SEES Where we park our tripod smack dab in the middle of all them clotheshorses, live mannequins, and nightcrawling creatures to show you who can damn well rock their style Status. You know, ‘cause most everyone’s a model these days…
Michael, 18, Rapper
Mia, 12, Artista
Mesh, 35, Male Dancer
Carlo, UP Student
Jill, 22, Student
King, The Real Gynecologist
Johan, 23, Musikero
Franco, 18, Gangstarr
something after it and I just can’t do the same thing over and over again.” Looking beyond hip-hop wasn’t hard to do after Stretch untangled himself from radio airwaves, commanding dance floors instead by promoting Plant, a label he became partner of in 2000 to spread the seeds of aural enlightenment through what he likes to call “obnoxious, instrumental dance music.” It’s the sort of roughedge, ballsy electronic mayhem that people don’t mind mounting the DJ booth to ask song titles for, like what culminated in Embassy when Armstrong shook and rattled the local crowd early this year. With New York’s club scene becoming a bottle service-soused “cheesy hype machine,” the beats have been better elsewhere—even in antithetical Los Angeles. “I think the LA scene is fucking great. The kids are really fucking into it, they’re loyal, and it bugs me out that they play music that you wouldn’t hear in their club equivalents in New York,” he says. “Thing is, I can bitch and moan all day about how New York used to be great but I like to remain positive. It’s just funny that I go to LA and the kids get down with what I’m doing and I’m like, wow, this is the shit. I could fucking move here.”
“I’ve had plenty experience with rappers in general and they’re full of shit,” says DJ Stretch Armstrong, the rolling of his eyes magnified by his thick, black frame glasses; an assertion a bit startling considering it’s coming from someone who crusaded East Coast hip-hop over radio airwaves in the ‘90s. Though The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show was a cred-collecting platform for a torrent of second-gen hip-hop titans like Biggie Smalls (later known as the Notorious B.I.G.), Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z to exhibit their lyrical flow to the masses, the 10th year anniversary celebration of its last episode—a “big deal” of a concert production with a projected 3,000-strong attendance in Times Square this year—had a bit of trouble rounding up the hip-hop envoys it helped catapult; certainly a reflection of how the genre’s scene has gone from one of people all about the music to one rife with “self-entitled babies
Fantastic, Elastic Music Machine
Photography by: Nick St. James
From hip-hop herald to evolver of electronic tastes,
DJ Stretch Armstrong
believes the more obnoxious the dance music, the better. suffering from arrested development.” “There was something about hip-hop music from ’85-’88 that was just an intense addiction for me. There were so many characters, styles, and different voices—and there was room for everybody,” he explains about an era that prompted a wiry, white Columbia University freshman named Adrian Bartos to demand a mic spot on his college radio station WKCR’s hip-hop program in 1990. After sharing his vast record stockpile and radio spot with Bobbito Garcia, then a promoter for colossal record company Def Jam, the two generated a “serious mix show” that was consistent with its turn up of talent from a scene that was evolving on an almost monthly basis. While the show that The Source labeled “The best hip-hop radio show of all time” helped bag its guests record deals and iced-out real estate in white suburbia, the two eventually upped the announcer ante by bringing the show to Hot 97 (“the home of hip-hop”), and Stretch got his own Sony-partnered label out. All the posturing before passion didn’t fare well for a DJ who was more about progressive beats than bling. “By ’96, I was just getting very bored with hip-hop and as someone who’s always played only the music I love, I found myself having to put out records that I wouldn’t even put out on the radio,” he says. “If there’s something before hip-hop, there’s gotta be
STRETCH MARKS: Plant’s Seeds: “They put out The Sound of Young New York, which is the best compilation merging dance music and indie rock. Tittsworth was the first artist we signed and then a DJ/producer/ artist named Kasper Bjorke from Denmark.” Spin City
: “I always love playing in Canada. They’re really knowledgeable, really cool, love to party, and don’t stand around like New Yorkers and act cool.”
: “Everyone knows that Mark Ronson used to follow me around. He would listen to me on the radio, go to clubs, check me out, and even girls he knew would go, ‘You know, Mark is just copying your entire set’. But then I am to Mark what the Duke of Denmark was to me.”
fresh MANILA BOYS
Valley of the Dolls There’s a little bit of brat in all of us. Fortunately, it seems that every aspect of childhood (or, at least, what we had desperately wished childhood to be like) can be had at a price, coddling our more grown-up penchant for burning cash on things not too vital for our survival. One such trend is the designer toy—high-quality, puckishly-designed vinyl playthings you can’t play with. If you take the words “mint condition” even a tad seriously, anyway. And one venture out to give the toy trade better exposure in this country is Fresh Manila, whose first store at the corner of Sgt. Esguerra and Timog Ave. is already causing a tizzy among hardcore collectors. John Tiu, Vince Castro, and the rest of Team Fresh stocked their store with some of the most well-known designer toy lines from the U.S., as well as clothes and footwear from Nike, Stussy, and A Bathing Ape. Plastic collectibles from Kid Robot, founded by artist and filmmaker Paul Budnitz, dominates their selection, from Dunnies and Munnies (warped bunnies and monkeys, respectively), the non-threatening aliens of Yo Gabba Gabba, the Legolike mutants of Peecol, Gorillaz dolls, and forever forlorn beancurd boys To-Fu Oyako. Plush
team fresh manila
t o y s like the adorably homely Ugly Dolls are also available, begging to be plucked from Fresh Manila’s chunky white shelves. Team Fresh has also taken the trend beyond the store’s confines, organizing events that celebrate this new synthetic subculture. Louie Cordero’s Nardong Tae, a limitededition, melting, moustachioed piece of white doody, was debuted at Embassy last October, adding a Pinoy flavor to the world of hip whimsy. Striking the balance between child-like wonder and shameless purchase power, Fresh Manila is proof that we can take ourselves a little less seriously. And with sneakers on pavement and Dunny in hand, we’re raring to come out and play.
photos by nick st james
Underground LA soiree shutterbug Mark “The Cobrasnake” Hunter allows spectators--and whichever scene he slithers into--night vision. So here’s to the snap-happy nocturnal badass who makes people look f*cking good.
Where are you right now? I'm on the airplane and tired and out of my mind. What’s your favorite camera to shoot with? I don’t like to talk about cameras its boring. Do people try to give you their "good angle" when taking pictures of them? They are always trying to look good. I try to make them look amazing. Doesn't it suck when people pose for you? Yes, that’s why most of the time I try to catch people of guard its way more candid.
When taking party pictures, do you party as well or do you remain "professional"? I’ll dance around but I don’t do drugs or really drink. I'm not very cool. Can i roll with you? Yes. Do you consider yourself an artist, or just lucky? I'm a lucky artist. Given the chance, would you shoot the ultimate party, The Last Supper? That would be really cool. I bet Jesus would be very photogenic.
Do you sleep? Not as much as i should. It's a really busy and fun life stylel Would you rather take a picture of an ugly person or a beautiful person? I like to take photos of interesting people. Do people pose for you? Or is it all spur of the moment? It’s a mix, really. Depends on how you edit your photos. If you shoot three photos a person you can have some control of how to show them to the world.
Not a question, but you don't shoot enough fat people. but they probably don't exist in LA. I shoot what is in front of me. Shoot to kill. If someone were to make a biopic about you, who would play you? Jason Schwartzman Can you give me a cool name like "cobrasnake"? Mr. Interview What song drives the crowd loco? Soulja Boy - Crank That What is your favorite song from 1987? Ghostbusters
Pauly, 25, The MC
Eric, 49, J-Rockstarrr
Sasha, 21, Student
Photos by: Nick Saint James
Trading what would have been an academic life as a Women’s Studies Major to rattle the club scene—and subsequently, the music industry—
Steve Aoki AKA Kid Millionaire
is trying to get all the “meatheads” to dance.
For the record, Steve Aoki hates boring interviews. He’ll loll in his seat, maybe even lie down on a restaurant banquette as if I was psychiatrist and he was patient and fidget with whatever is in front of him. Which is what he’s doing now with his blueskinned Blackberry after a ho-hum
HITMAN exchange of interviewer-interviewee pleasantries and dully recounting his visits to two poker rooms following a surprise appearance at Embassy Cuisine’s Happy Mondays; a few postarrival activities that he glibly describes as “cool”. But if you were a part of the withit hordes who caught—no, experienced— Aoki’s first gig in Manila last August, you’d know why this guy won’t tolerate boredom and just Can’t. Keep. Steady. The music he wields is an aural Uzi attack in itself—all thundering bass and electronic mayhem reinvigorating everything from classic 2 Live Crew to any of his Dim-Mak label’s littleknown bands’ tracks—but the DJ himself is a schizophrenic showman of sorts. He bleeds electricity, even resorting to such jaw-dropping tactics as mounting a booth’s ledges and staggering around like a caged chimp in order to rile up a crowd. “Dude, check this out,” he says while brandishing a digi-cam, finally amped and pointing at a clip of the Singaporean audience he spun for at the Zookout festival prior to his arrival in Manila; thousands of revelers from front row to far ends jumping up, grabbing at the air and roaring graciously for a fresh track Steve produced, wrote, and sang on. “I couldn’t believe 15,000 people going just fucking nuts to a song they’ve never even heard before. They were just fucking living it!” The Sing crowd response wasn’t much different from the kids Aoki blazed the decks for at Coachella, where even if he was thrown the 2 PM slot—“the worst” of the lot as an opening for rocketingcool acts like LCD Soundsystem and Justice—he packed the hell out of the area. “I’ve been DJ-ing so much and building a following to this point but this tour has been different for me,” he explains. “I’m really getting to play what I want to play. I want the crowds to feel the energy first before they get familiar. They think playing a song everyone knows is the easiest way to play a crowd but what’s more powerful is energy—the essence of the song. If they can get it as much as you can get it, then it’s a bigger
feeling. It’s such a timeless reaction.” It’s true, however. A few hours later, Aoki is back in front of Manila’s nocturnal cognoscenti—everyone raising their fists and leaping to infectious pop staples like Britney’s “Gimme More”, until it shifts into an alien arrangement blaring unfamiliar vocals. Yet the crowd remains frenetic—a guest like Manny Pacquiao even ascending towards the DJ booth to mimic the maestro’s flailing arms and wild gestures—and to all of this, Aoki stage dives into an audience more than happy to catch him, pleased at having accomplished his mission once more. “I have to really be fucking into the
I couldn’t believe 15,000 people going just fucking nuts to a song they’ve never even heard before. They were just fucking living it!
They think playing a song everyone knows is the easiest way to play a crowd but what’s more powerful is energy—the essence of the song. If they can get it as much as you can get it, then it’s a bigger feeling. It’s such a timeless reaction.
HITMAN songs and into the night,” Steve says, samurai eyes rapt. “The whole set-up of the Philippines last time was so great ‘cause everyone was embracing me and they didn’t even know who I was. Music is changing and it’s all about being a part of a cultural thing around the song. It could be the label, it could be the Cobrasnake ‘cause he’s there shooting it, it could be Cory Kennedy ‘cause she’s dancing in the scene. The connection is good and that’s what I see in every city I go to—these kids going out and having a fucking blast and the meatheads might come too ‘cause
they wanna see what the fuck is going on there.” Still, a predicament surfaces when the indie music movement’s conductor starts modeling Sean John for GQ, is associated with ‘Lords of the Fly’ like K-Fed and the boys of Good Charlotte in Vanity Fair, and starts appearing on webisodes of the
The connection is good and that’s what I see in every city I go to—these kids going out and having a fucking blast and the meatheads might come too ‘cause they wanna see what the fuck is going on there.
MTV-Pepsi show The Look Right Now—translating into a lot less indie cred, resounding fame, and piping-hot hype. While Dim-Mak has throttled Bloc Party’s singles into regular airplay, Aoki doesn’t just churn out electro/hip-hop/ what-have-you to the kids at LA’s Cinescape for Dim-Mak Tuesdays or even the celebs-about-town in hotspots like Les Deux anymore; and not just in the realm of music, either, considering he’s spinning urban capitalism into a frenzy, what with his own pair of Supra sneakers out, headphones for WESC, and a clothing label he’s developing with his modelactress-overall-sensational sister Devon to dress all the impressionable hipsters who want to slip on Steve’s fluorescent attitude. “When I heard the Shins on a McDonald’s commercial, I was like ‘aww, fuck, they sold out’. But then it didn’t really affect them. What does selling out mean, really? It’s a negative thing that happens to someone
The whole set-up of the Philippines last time was so great ‘cause everyone was embracing me and they didn’t even know who I was.
Without Daft Punk it would be a different world, I swear to God.
who’s championing culture. If I went to the whole indie scene and was like, ‘oh, you guys totally embrace me, now I’m a bigshot, now I’m on GQ, so I’m gonna shit on you—and then I start shitting on them like I didn’t care about Bloc Party and their fans, The Kills and their fans, or let’s go even farther back with Pretty Girls Make Graves and their fans—and just sold the label off to a major label and said, ‘Take it, I’m running! I’m going to Acapulco to lay around with this celebrity girlfriend I now have and we’re just gonna lay on the beach and fuck ‘cause I’m a celebrity now’—then everyone has the right to say I sold-out.” Instead of just relying on the cash he gets from being heir to the Benihana restaurant chain or hooking up with the next hot young Hollywood something and running off to snort lines by the beach, what Aoki did was to rabidly shake hands with a grandiose label with more cash to burn in order to “champion the scene” that he’s part of. To get more kids to listen to the music he believes in—whether it’s a folk outfit like Young Love or a no-wave art band like Die Monitr Batts. “Chromeo got top spins in MTV America, more than Hillary Duff or whoever and that is a fucking success. I wanna see more of that— on TV, on Jay Leno, on Jimmy Kimmel and see it grow. We can’t just go, ‘okay, we’re gonna stay this small ‘cause the music’s so special. I mean people can label “One More Time” a cheesy, commercial song but
to me Daft Punk is the bat signal in the sky for our scene. Without Daft Punk it would be a different world, I swear to God. It would be Armin Van Buurens and Paul Van Dyks and Tiestos and whoever the fuck else that sucks balls,” he says laughing. “We’re doing all kinds of different things with bands—pushing digitally, online—and DJ-ing is a really important part of the puzzle. I’m not like Tommy Sunshine who just plays one kind of music—I like everything, man. So that what maybe makes me even a fucking little inch different from everyone else. You don’t have to go and listen to fucking 50 Cent to have fun, you could listen to The Bloody Beetroots spun by Steve Aoki and take photos with Cory Kennedy at this party while Chromeo is playing in the background. That’s the alternative. That’s what I’m putting my stamp of approval on—to bring out and let flourish and make it an exciting thing for everyone. I wanna come to the Philippines and bring that to those kids.” Steve is reeling in excitement at this point, fidgeting with his Blackberry not out of boredom but to demonstrate how he conducts business while crusading his kind of music across the globe. Every scene needs a radical and he’ll be that guy who’s resuscitating club music—just so the distracted kids looking for ear seizures don’t have to pop pills to feel good on the dance floor and just so you don’t have to lean against the club walls, swirling your drink out of boredom. Boredom? No, Steve would absolutely hate that.
I wanna come to the Philippines and bring that to those kids.”
Maria, 19, Bum
Koby, 21, Chocolate Lover
Alexa, Coolest Motherfucker
Ak, 22, Student DJ
Dante, 18+, Actor
Photos by Chuck Le Chuck, Nick St James Styling by Rosario Herrera | Make Up by Ai De Leon
Whether hanging out with LiLo or hitting up a checklist of LA hotspots on a weeknight, after-school activities were never as cool as Internet ‘it’ girl Cory Kennedy made them. The dilemma, though? When it turns out to be one of those teen girl phases.
WORKING GIRL Cory never planned this out. You know—this whole fame deal. When high school proved to be a bust and she started letting herself loose at rock shows, she never thought she’d blitz the fascination of one LA underground society shutterbug by the name of Mark ‘The Cobrasnake’ Hunter, who’d take a few snaps of the girl wearing a yellow dress that stood out in a crowd of trend-devouring hipsters and post them on his widely-received blog. Neither did she realize that her internship with Hunter would set off a Cory craze that would catapult the just-graduating lassie as a WWWunderkind both disdained and glorified for her premature partying, chicly strung-out look and forgoing cafeteria clique seating for hanging with credcarrying friends like pop fart designer Jeremy Scott, pseudo-big brother Steve Aoki, and, well, Paris and Lindsay. A day after Cory literally kicked off her shoes and shimmied by Steve Aoki to a riotous crowd at Embassy, Status clinks coffee cups with the now barely legal, former ‘crazy little party girl’ as she gripes about The Hills, tells us why Hollywood sucks, and shares a few sweet postcollege plans. So I guess you’re sick of the word ‘hipster’? Yes, I hate that word. And just the whole ‘little, rich party girl-drug addict’ thing. I don’t like any of those words. It’s just like people calling me the ‘indie Paris Hilton’ and I’m like ‘no’. You know, she’s awesome but it’s just, like, where did that come from? How is that gonna benefit me? I’m trying to get away from all that, so I really don’t go out all the time. I hang out at friends’ places now. You know, it’s just like, you get into clubs here, New York, Paris, wherever and they’re all the same—same thing. Once in a while it’s awesome, but not all the time. Are there any similarities between the scenes in LA and Manila? Dude, they’re not that different. I don’t really know the crowd here personally that much but they are there to have fun and dance to the songs they wanna hear and hang out with their friends and hang out outside—switching around and all. It’s all the same, really. Just different people, different places…different. Jaded about the party scene much? Well, there’s that but then also, you know, I’m doing way more, starting new things, doing different projects—sort of in-your-face to all that. I’m a writer, a photographer, I guess I don’t even know what you call it…a fashion…
“You know, it’s just like, you get into clubs here, New York, Paris, wherever and they’re all the same-same thing.”
something to do with fashion, definitely. Because I know so much about it and I’m so into that world. I’m gonna do a clothing line with Mark (Hunter)—something futurist with Tsubi. And will this still have that Cory Kennedy look the fashion blog world went crazy for? I’m so over that look! The Cory Kennedy… (laughs)...that was like, two years ago when I was wearing it and they’re like, ‘yeaaahhh, headbands!’ with like, the Chanel flats on. I’ve heard that a trillion, million times and I’m like, eww, why did I ever wear that? I don’t wanna go to that period of dressing—ever. People were like, ‘aww, gotta wear that’ and I’m like, no, no, I wear this now. My real inspirations are like, 1910s and 20s and 30s and 40s. I really like getting inspiration from pieces that were worn back then but modernized. Or taking actual pieces from them in flea markets and just mixing it with modern designers or, you know, making ‘em out of something. We know designer Jeremy Scott is also an influence… A huge influence. his prints and pieces—there’s a bigger picture than what you see. He’s also a great friend of mine. I met him when I was interning for Mark when I was 15 and Jeremy came over to pick up some cameras at Mark’s office and I was wearing this vintage Adidas sweatshirt and Jeremy goes, ‘oh, that girl is sooo cute and intriguing and blah blah blah. Like, I have the same sweatshirt too and I’m gonna give it to her’. And so he gave me the sweatshirt and so we just kind of hung out with Mark and he wanted me to model for his line. But his style is very Hollywood—and you’ve expressed your dislike for the whole LA scene in the past. I hate it, yes. LA turned into kind of like a fashion-y scene. People who wear Jeremy Scott for example are wearing it ‘cause everyone thinks it’s cool. They’re not wearing it ‘cause
“I was bound to be
somewhere-in this circle.”
they really like it or really understand it. I hope to move to New York and go to college in June and study fashion. New York is like, so complicated and like, so tense. LA’s so ‘bleehh’ and New York’s like ‘fuck you, duuude’ and you’re fine. In Hollywood, people will say the meanest things about you and they’ll walk in and be like, ‘Oh my god Cory, hi, how are you? Do you want anything to drink?’ And I’m like, you know what, you suck. I call LA HelL-A—but it’s my home and I’m always gonna come back. It’s not completely awful. Not until you meet the girls from The Hills? (laughs) Oh my God, don’t even start. (starts to stick a finger down her throat as if to faux-barf) It’s just disgusting—how they made interning and everything else look. I don’t like Teen Vogue. Well, you did diss Lindsay Lohan quite a while back as well, you know. Yeah, before on my blog, I was like, ‘eww Lindsay Lohan’. I was talking shit about her before and she’s like, ‘I like Cory’ and I meet her and she’s actually really awesome and we have a lot in common so yeah, I guess you really can’t judge people by the cover. Especially celebrities who get all this publicity—bad and good. It’s like, you really don’t know them until you’ve met them. That’s what sucks. Will we be seeing Cory Kennedy out with an album or stepping into acting though? No, I can’t sing for my own life. Movies and acting—that would be different if done in a tasteful way. Not like, Tom Cruise-y action but more Buffalo ’66 in a way. I’ve turned down a lot—like this short film I was asked to do and it’s about a pop star, like Britney Spears-type, who wants to lose her virginity before she dies. So then she loses her virginity and then she kills herself. It was so gross, I was like, I can’t do this. Does it sort of floor you how you’re receiving stuff like this just barely graduating from high school? I didn’t really like anyone in high school. I mean, I went through the whole popular thing and whatever and it was disgusting. So I distanced myself from everyone and that was when I started interning and doing things. I was wasting time so I needed to get stuff done. And then I started getting photographed with alcohol and it just came back to bite me. But I didn’t know where it was leading. I was just having fun with friends and I didn’t know I was gonna end up on the LA Times. I didn’t necessarily want fame but just being in an industry of people in music and fashion and photography. I was bound to be somewhere—in this circle. And have you more or less gotten what you wanted out of all of this? Oh, more. I mean, hopefully more and more but now, it’s awesome. So I’m just trying to use my advantages as I can.
Hagia, 24, Psych Grad
Allen, 22, Swiss Customs
Mikee, 20, 21, Student Model Conrad,
Fatima, 19, Dancer
Guarav, 26, Pilot
Night Vision ot Here’s what’s h right in your
Snap Crackle Pop at Embassy Fly
a m a fi @ s y a id r f h s 3 fr
float fridays @ ascend
SUPERKLASSE 3RD YEAR ANNIVERSARY WITH DJ SPINBAD
TRANS-ACTION photos by Mark the Cobrasnake
Here are the coolest happenings on the other side of the ocean!
KIRBY: fully loaded photo by nick st james
few things Mutya ng Pilipinas winner (she’s Fil-Norwegian) and Miss Norway-Universe
’07 Kirby Ann Basken can’t live without and some rightful demands this former beauty queen has for the universe.
5. Limitless cups of Starbucks Soy 5. “My Sony Erricson K810i. I can’t Mocha live without it!” 4. A comfy sweatsuit 4. “A Guess? bag that I bought in 3. A mahjong set the Philippines that last time I was 2. Three flatscreens playing 300, John there.” Q and Mary Poppins on-loop 3. “A bracelet that I got from Thune 1. Stereo with Rihanna’s “Please don’t jewelry here in Norway when I signed stop the music” and some reggaeton to be their model this year.” pumping from it. 2. “When it comes to candy, it’s gotta be Norwegian chocolate.” 1. “I’m addicted to scented candles.”
Status has A.D.D. April/May/June 2008