Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Naked Coast to Coast
By Andrew Einhorn
The proprietor of the book, TV show and website Naked Happy Girls, photographer Andrew Einhorn has a philosophy he lays out, in the “Pose” section of his website, thusly: …a celebration of beauty through the idea that a smile is sexier than a pouty face. Laughter more of a turn on then moaning. That arching your back while balancing on sharp rocks looks really uncomfortable. Or, more succinctly, where NAKEDNESS, LAUGHTER and ART intersect. In other words, Einhorn’s vision of sexy, skyclad women doesn’t jibe much with, say, Larry Flynt’s. Instead of silicone-enhanced professionals with elastic bones and cynical come-hither expressions, Naked Coast to Coast – the sequel to Naked Happy Girls, natch – features “real” women from New York and San Francisco. These women are lawyers, painters, dancers, musicians and other ladies without a professional interest in selling sex, and they’re more likely to be rolling around in the grass, playing with their pets, running down the beach or, as on the cover, posing in front of the Statue of Liberty than inserting digits in nether regions. Veteran sleazebeasts might find this boring – after all, the Playboy aesthetic long ago became as mainstream as gangsta rap. The closest to unsavory Einhorn gets here are the bongs that sometimes crop up and the occasional shot indicating a foot fetish.
But the big difference between Einhorn’s erotica and that of more down-and-dirty photographers’ – or Playboy, for that matter – is what makes Naked Coast to Coast something more than one more art book attempting to be sexy. The smiles on these women’s faces are sincere. That whole laughter-being-a-turn-on thing isn’t just a glib marketing line – it really is how Einhorn thinks, and the way these girls look as if they’re having a blast running around naked gives his pictures a freshness and charm very, very few other projects like this have. It’s what makes Kate more than just another blonde ex-cheerleader, Lisa more than just another cute rich girl, Rubina more than just another chocolate goddess and Jamie more than just a piece of indie rock crumpet. The good vibes obviously flowing between professional nudie photographer and amateur model are infectious. And wouldn’t the picture of a buxom redhead who can barely hold back her laughter as her robe falls open present a more genuine erotic buzz than a hardcore actress spreading her labia with a vacant look in her eye? Einhorn isn’t selling the fantasy of a constantly horny bitch who can’t keep her hands off herself or anyone else – he’s presenting an unvarnished view of everyday women who go naked for the sheer fun of it. How can anyone resist that?
- Michael Toland
The band’s name is King Giant and the album is called Southern Darkness. If you guessed this Virginia quintet trucks in heavy doom/stoner/grunge metal, you’d be shooting at an easy target. King Giant isn’t doing anything here that Down hasn’t done already, but you know what? Who gives a shit? When the groove of Potter’s Field grabs you by the gonads and shakes you ‘til you’re sore, the rage of Machine Gun Mantra sends you hiding behind the kitchen door with a butcher knife, the riffs of Shindig rip out your entrails and stuff them in your pockets and the bad vibes of Mississippi River haunt your waking dreams, questions of originality just don’t matter a damn. Frontdude Hammerly has a voice somewhere between the whiskey-scarred growl of Phil Anselmo and the manly bellow of Glenn Danzig, and his charisma carries the tracks on the occasions when the sounds verge on the generic. Southern Darkness may owe a debt to the teeth-gnashing doom that came before it, but it stands proudly shoulder to shoulder with its inspirations. Plus 13 To begins with a banjo before crashing into the swamp with amps cranked to 21. That’s just fucking cool.
- Michael Toland