AN OPEN LETTER TO PENN BAGLEY, BADGLEY, BADDLEY. WHATEVER.

 

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The following is an excerpt from a piece originally featured on The Style Con:

Dear Penn,

Can I call you Penn? Is that your real name? If I sound incredulous over its authenticity it comes only from the purest place of jealousy-induced doubt. You see, I was born in the ‘80s and Jennifer (that’s me, BTW, hi!) was quite popular. My parents, inspired by the masses, forwent the opportunity to name me something clever, like Mackenzie or Autumn or Jo, I don’t know,Penn. As a result, I have always hated the utterly generic nature of my name. But Penn… Penn sets someone up for greatness, so much so that I refuse to believe it’s real.

But I digress. I’m not here to talk about your stage name. (PS: Holy shit. Okay, I’ll admit I was wrong and hastily judgmental. I just looked up your bio on Wikipedia and your real name is Penn Dayton Badgley. I envy you, Penn, and your parents’ wonderfully WASPy taste. I, Jennifer Lee Bahn—yes, not “Leigh” like the more delicate girls, but “Lee” like Confederate army generals—am but your humble servant in lesser nomenclature.) No, Penn Dayton Badgley, I’m here to talk about your band, MOTHER, which sucks.

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“What Katy Perry Taught Me About Life” on Lady Clever

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The following is an excerpt from my piece “What Katy Perry Taught Me About Life” as seen on Lady Clever:

I resisted. For a long time. To the tune of nearly six admirable months. Maybe it was the derivative trap beats, the three-years-too-late dubstep references, the forcefully languid drag of the background vocals. Maybe it’s because I’m a snob. But after a mere ten decidedly assaultive seconds, I declared Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” utterly unlistenable, never affording to hear it out in its entirety… until I was driving in my car last week and I accidentally caught the song on the radio, right in the middle of its thumping, sort-of-predictably soaring hook…

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STRIP CLUBS AND DOLLAR BILLS (RIHANNA STILL GOT HER BALMAIN CAMPAIGN)

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The following is an excerpt on my coverage of Rihanna for Balmain, as seen on The Style Con:

Rihanna ups her campaign game, graduating from Armani Exchange to Balmain for their Spring/ Summer 2014 campaign. Shot by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin in what looks like a never-before-used ‘80s Russian bathhouse designed by Sol Lewitt, the two released images channel some major Gianni Versace circa Reagan-era decadence. Gold! Gold! Gold! More goddamn gold!

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Field Trip: Kanye West’s New “Bound 2” Video on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my piece, “Breaking News: Kim Kardashian Loves Unicorns,” as featured on The Style Con:

The following is an imagined conversation between Kanye West and director Nick Knight before the filming of his latest video, “Bound 2.” Given the nature of all things “imaginary,” it never really happened. So, if you’re reading this Kanye, don’t get your Givenchy panties in a bunch.

Nick Knight: So, Kanye. I have a couple ideas…

Kanye West: Okay, okay, okay. We gonna open up with SCREEN SAVERS from my ’93 Sony Vaio desktop. I want it everything all… hyper-bright, perfect. Stock footage, man. STOCK FOOTAGE. I want eagles soarin’, sunsets settin’, snow-capped mountain peaks. AMERICA, Nick Knight. Kanye West wants fucking AMERICA. Did I tell you about the albino ponies? Put albino ponies in that intro. Unless you can get unicorns. Kim-loves-unicorns.

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Field Trip: “30 Seconds to Blowing My Brains Out” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my piece “30 Seconds to Blowing My Brains Out,” as featured on The Style Con:

New Jersey, 2002. My friend and I were waiting for Incubus to take the stage (can’t begrudge a Cali girl some Brandon Boyd), while we talked about having just moved to New York City, how Jersey didn’t seem as bad as people made it out to be, and all the hot, straight men we imagined NYU totally, definitely, absolutely be chock full of. And then, all of a sudden, we heard it. That awful sound. A horrible, screeching wretchedness pumping out the venue speakers and assaulting the audience. “Uggghhhh, what the fuck is that?!” we screamed, clutching our young hands to vulnerable ears. Though we didn’t realize it then, the answer to the question was 30 Seconds to Mars, a massively crappy band still in its infancy, led by none other than my childhood crush, Jordan Catalano – I mean Jared Leto.

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Field Trip: “Getting High with Sky Ferreira” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from my recent article, “Getting High with Sky Ferreira,” currently seen on The Style Con:

World loves a junkie. Keith Richards, Cat Marnell, Robert Downey Jr., ‘90s Drew Barrymore — these were addicts whose drug abuse quickly defined them, fueled their interviews (Barrymore’s infamous David Letterman table dance), secured book deals (Marnell’s $500k Simon & Schuster advance), and provided endless fodder for tabloids (Downey Jr. flying down the PCH—naked, on drugs, in a Porsche).  If they could smoke it, shoot it, snort it, they did, and we sat there on the sidelines, watching feverishly from the padded walls of our work cubicles while someone else played Russian roulette with their life.

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Field Trip: Lady Gaga’s artRave in NYC on The Style Con

Inez_and_Vinoodh_gaga-binary-chair2-IIHIHThe following is an excerpt from my piece on Lady Gaga’s recent “artRave” in NYC, as seen on The Style Con:

I have no idea what to look at. Music pumps through super premium speakers while hot air begins to fill the sprawling expanse of a polished Brooklyn warehouse. White walls bask in the pink and purple glow of overhead lights. Drag queens with half-shaved heads doBeyonce-esque hair-whips, balancing on bloated versions of women’s heels. There’s a white sculpture, a blue sculpture, a gold one, too, shiny like Christmas candy wrappers and adorned with fake flowers. High above, screens alternate between a real-time aggregator of social media content – Tweets about #artRAVE and #ARTPOP, selfies of people smiling in the foreground of their dull, badly lit bedrooms – and bold graphic typeface announcing the people of the hour, GAGA and KOONS.

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Field Trip: “Getting Burned by Iceage” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt of my piece on Danish punk band Iceage, as featured on The Style Con:

All the cool kids are here. The kids who think they’re cool are at the Lou Doillon show, wearing their $400 haircuts and denim jackets, Instagramming pictures of Doillon’s 38’’ inseam along with comments like “#goosebumps” and “Ooh LaLa!” Right now, they’re eyeing each other over, standing in heels, ranking themselves in a falsely perceived hierarchy of what matters. But as I cross the threshold of the Acheron, a black-walled room in Bushwick with no circulating air, I pass the handwritten sign screaming “THIS IS NOT A CMJ EVENT” and I know that yes, this is definitely the place.

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Field Trip: CMJ Coverage, Day 1 on VMAN

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The following is an excerpt from my article covering CMJ, featured on VMAN:

Yesterday’s CMJ festivities got off to a weird start last night in front of Piano’s, where crowds huddled around paramedics as they heaved a man onto a stretcher. In broken English, someone said that the man had apparently been “hit with straps” and then pointed towards Banksy’s Ludlow Street installation. Confusing, to say the least…

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Field Trip: “Did Rihanna Misappropriate White Culture?” on The Style Con

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The following is an excerpt from “Did Rihanna Misappropriate White Culture?” featured on TheStyleCon.com:

For the 9.9 million people currently following Rihanna on Instagram, her latest video for the track “Pour it Up” really isn’t anything new. Since she created the account, her fans have been treated to a full-frontal and all-access pass of her life, complete with private jet slumber parties, post-coital Chris Brown confessions, massive blunts, and a lot a lot a lot of posing in bikinis with her ass facing gamely towards camera. If someone had a gun to my head, I could probably pick Rihanna’s butt cheeks out in a lineup of 100 people. The same could not be said of her vajay, until now. After watching “Pour It Up,” I suddenly feel intimately familiar with Rihanna’s Viganna.

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