Aladdin Sane

British photographer Brian Duffy is dead

Britain’s Brian Duffy, iconic photographer of the 1960s, has died at the age of 76 years, according to a statement posted Saturday on its website. The photographer died of a lung disease, the source said. With colleagues David Bailey and Terence Donovan, Brian Duffy formed “The Black Trinity”, a trio of photographers known for their portraits of actors, models and musicians in London in the 1960s.

Brian Duffy had studied fashion design at St Martins School before beginning his photographic career in 1957 in the British edition of Vogue.  He had also worked for Elle magazine in Paris. Among his most famous images included portraits of the American writer William Burroughs and British singer David Bowie.

“Our arguments will be missed,” responded David Bailey, the sole survivor of the trio, interviewed by the Sunday Telegraph. “Shrew was an adjective that fit him like a glove, it was his character (…) but even if grumpy, I remember we were laughing the whole time together with him,” he added.  Source:  AFP


Blog Post Music Videos by Armin van Buuren, a Dutch trance producer and DJ.   In 2007, 2008, and 2009 he was voted number one in DJ Magazine‘s annual top 100 list of the most popular DJ’s.  Since 2001 van Buuren has hosted a weekly radio show called A State of Trance and claims to have over 30 million weekly listeners in more than 40 countries, which would make it the most listened radio show in the world.

His 2008 studio album, Imagine, entered the Dutch album chart at #1, a first for any dance artist in Dutch music history. On March 3, 2010 van Buuren was awarded with the prestigious Golden Harp, for his musical work and contribution to Dutch music, by the music collecting society BUMA/STEMRA at the 2010 Buma Harpen Gala in Hilversum, the Netherlands. Source: Wiki

The kings of rock rejuvenate their fans

The Stones, AC / DC and Led Zeppelin have increased their ratings, especially among teenagers, who join the fans of the first hour.

Le Figaro – By Lena Lutaud (English Translation)

A few months after burning two Bercy, the Velodrome in Marseille and the Stade de France, AC / DC returns to play before more than 122,000 people in Nice at the Stade de France on 15 and 18 June. If the fans are on the historic lawns, terraces are full of teenagers who know by heart “Highway to Hell (1979). The youngest were 12 years. “They identify with guitarist Angus Young, 55, who surveyed the scene as a schoolboy in short pants,” laughs Peter Dieterle, whose site oscillates between 6000 and 12,000 young visitors a day. For Godefroy Pizon, project manager at Sony-Columbia, which has sold 500,000 CDs of their latest album, Black Ice, “AC / DC took its eight-year absence on stage and in stores to polish its image. Upon their return in late 2008, we saw lots of young people wear their t-shirts and paste their logo on their backpacks. “

If AC / DC is the group favorite vintage teens, other rock legends, such as Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and the Ramones, have suddenly become as popular as Lady Gaga. This enthusiasm is measured in the programming of concerts. Aerosmith will be at Bercy in June. ZZ Top For ten days in July. Iggy Pop et Mark Knopfler will be the stars of Nuits de Fourvière.

In return, Paris awaits Santana, Ozzy Osbourne et Deep Purple, while Roger Waters, the messiah Pink Floyd, present his rock opera, The Wall, Bercy, 30 May 2011. “Kids come to admire artists who have not given up and are always conquering youth,” says Michka Assayas, author of the Dictionary of rock (Mouthpieces), which will be reissued in late 2011.

“As the record companies sign more young groups, the valve is closed, denounces Philippe Manoeuvre. But the kids do not want to drop the rock. They are fascinated by the message of freedom that goes through this music. They replaced Sid Vicious by another dilapidated transit, Pete Doherty. They need to destroy other heroes. As they are given more rebels, they will look past ones. “

Vinyl & Playlists

For Michka Assayas, Led Zeppelin & Co have some other very recent phenomenon: the intense practice of rock in France. “Quantities of kids bought a guitar, ride a band in high school and want to know where does this music. To find out, they lend the magazine Rock & Folk, became at once very fashionable. They know by heart the 1200 pages of the “Bible” of Michka Assayas and listen to vinyl proudly lent by their parents.

But to invent their own culture, nothing beats the Internet. They are looking for anything they want. The concerts, even those of the 1950s, are on YouTube. And iTunes allows trees to bounce from group to group. “In a few months, these are self-taught at the major collectors,” says Philippe Manoeuvre. “By surfing the Net that Plasticines had the idea of a cover of You’re No Good, Linda Ronstadt. They also listen to the Stones a lot, “says their producer, Maxime Schmitt.

In addition, there are many times we hear mainstream unwittingly in advertisements, in movies (AC / DC is the soundtrack to Iron Man 2) and in the elevators of hypermarkets, like “I Was Made For Loving You, Kiss, by Swellers.

Viewed each week by 3.5 million viewers, “New Star” (M6) also plays an important role. “After the syrupy 1990s, young people want the music more intense. We plan at least as a mythic issue, demonstrates the producer Renaud Rahard. The next day, he’s No. 1 selling single. “Aerosmith and the Stones can thank Guitar Hero, which enjoyed tremendous success in France with 1.3 million video games sold since 2006. “The sixties rock represent one third of our playlists. Guitar Hero has replaced the radio, “smiled Ormancey Gautier, Marketing Manager Southern Europe.

«This is very special, “concludes Roger Pouivet, anthologist and author of music of the Philosophy of rock (PUF). In rock, the work and recording are one. The work goes easily from vinyl to MP3. This specificity will play in the maintenance of rock in France. “For Gerard Drouot, which brings all these stars of” classic rock “in France, however, there are two major differences between the youth of 2010 and the 1960s:” They come with their parents, whereas before we go to rock concert in secret. And they are willing to afford the seats, whereas in my day we bought the discs, but they jump the queue to enter! “

Wine: soaring prices for 2009 for Bordeaux

Le Monde – By Claudia Courtois (English Translation)

The campaign has the inside scoop of Bordeaux wines began in early May in a promising context: the 2009 vintage is one of the largest, provides all professionals. It is easy to compare 2005 with more homogeneity between names and between the right bank and left bank.

Powerful tannins, coated, little austerity and wine tasting, which may either be long or youth custody. Robert Parker, the taster-American guru, he is also fallen under the spell: the former lawyer never distributed as 97 and 98-100 (maximum score) to Bordeaux estates, among them, Lafite-Rothschild and Latour (1st Grand Crus, AOC Pauillac), Margaux (1st Grand Cru Classe), Cos d’Estournel (second Medoc Grand Cru Classe Saint-Estephe), Léoville-Poyferré (Second Cru Classé, St. Julien) or saddle- duckling (5th Grand Cru Classé, Pauillac).

This quality recognized risk of inflaming the country. Already, a dozen brands already out of the seventy, exceeded 20% to 30% in 2005 prices, which themselves had exploded 200% to 300% for larger, compared to 2004.


Cantemerle, 5th Grand Cru Classé Haut-Médoc, has been released to 19.90 euros, resale price trading, an increase of 40% compared to 2008 (13.90 euros) and 20% compared to 2005. “And those are already out of the most reasonable in terms of pricing,” said Jean-Pierre Rousseau, CEO of Diva, a trading company in Bordeaux, specializing in the classified growths.

“Chances are that the prices of the largest explode, well beyond 2005, with levels up to 300-400 euros per bottle, “says Rousseau. Where a risk of disconnection from traditional markets. ” This year, two clients do look forward to the release of the first, second and second super Crus (thirty castles in total): China and the United States. Two client-sensitive notes Parker, the top teams and exceptional vintages.

“For the first time in the history of Bordeaux, the fruit market could switch to China, a hitherto non-existent customer”, says Jean-Philippe Delmas, CEO of Chateau Haut-Brion (Pessac-Leognan). The 2009 vintage of this prestigious ranked first thought and his other thought, the Mission Haut-Brion, have first been rated 100/100 by Robert Parker. What fuel inflation …


Those will go smoothly but for all others? This year, 500 to 600 castles, requires exceptional year, offer their wines, in whole or in part, premiere – even before aging in barrels. Customers interested in purchasing a reputation but will not see the color of the bottles that at least two years after its purchase … The objective of this unique system is to enable the person to buy cheaper than in the marketing end, and the castle to make cash. A good deal often but not always.

“Des amis pharmaciens et médecins, habitués des primeurs, m’ont dit qu’ils n’achèteront pas cette fois-ci car trop cher”, temporise François Lévêque, courtier de père en fils et président du syndicat des courtiers de Gironde. “D’accord, on a un très grand millésime mais c’est aussi la crise économique dans toute l’Europe. Il faudrait rester prudent car les arbres ne montent pas au ciel”. Réponse fin juin, quand les plus grands seront sortis.

In The World Magazine Friday, June 4, a special section “bordeaux futures 2009” Bettane & Desseauve

Mercantile Heroes (as Seen on TV)


CROWDS are a fact of life here, oozing down the sidewalk as you try to make a right turn into your hotel or blocking your access to the $10 blackjack tables. At 10 a.m. on a recent weekday, though, things were pretty quiet — except at the Gold and Silver Pawn Shop on Las Vegas Boulevard, about a mile north of the Strip. Inside the low-slung, khaki-colored building, unremarkable save for the large “As Seen on TV” sign by the front door, so many people were milling about that it was hard to get a close look at the Rolexes, the Super Bowl rings or the Confederate currency.

They had come to this drab area near downtown Las Vegas because the Gold and Silver is the setting of “Pawn Stars,” a hit show for the History channel that has turned three generations of the Harrison family, the store’s owners, into mercantile folk heroes. In its second season, which ended in early May, “Pawn Stars” was History’s highest-rated series ever, averaging four million viewers an episode (an 82 percent increase over Season 1). In some weeks it reached five million, enough to push it into the cable Top 10.

Changing the back-alley image of the pawn business was one of Mr. Harrison’s goals when he began pitching the idea of a reality show set at the Gold and Silver — a utilitarian but clean and well-lighted place — about five years ago. The picture of the pawnshop as seedy hangout for small-time crooks and desperate junkies had been reinforced by every 1970s and ’80s television cop show; even Sidney Lumet’s 1964 film “The Pawnbroker,” with Rod Steiger’s Oscar-nominated performance in the title role, was, according to Mr. Harrison, “such a negative movie.”

To make his case Mr. Harrison will talk about pawning as the oldest form of banking, with roots in Mesopotamia and Rome. He’ll expound on the surprisingly large number of American households with no bank accounts and how the 10 percent interest he charges per month must be weighed against the small sizes of the loans. And he’ll point out the ease with which he grants those loans (no credit reports) and that the collateral he holds means that they don’t need to be paid back. “I don’t sue you,” he said.

The increased attention “Pawn Stars” has brought to the Gold and Silver has been good for Mr. Harrison’s business — he estimated that sales, which average $750,000 a month, were up 20 percent to 30 percent since the series began last summer — but he did not seem entirely happy with other changes that have accompanied television success.

There was a hint of derision when he referred to the shelf space now devoted to “Pawn Stars” and Chumlee T-shirts. And walking into the crowded showroom, where middle-aged women clamored to have their pictures taken with him and middle-aged men tried to show off their superior knowledge regarding, say, samurai swords, did not appear to thrill him. “Sometimes it gets a little irritating when I have business to do,” he said, “and I get, ‘Wait, take your picture?’ Picture, picture, picture.”

He was most animated when showing visitors the storeroom where pawned items are kept until they are redeemed or placed on sale. There he could simply riff on the Atmos clocks, Bourget motorcycles and vintage sound-mixing boards as he walked by. A question about the most common items brought in for sale or pawn (which turned out to be jewelry, watches and construction tools) led to a detailed explanation of how to make a convincing fake of a $30,000 Rolex for $5,000.

Back in the showroom he surveyed a wall of paintings and prints and let his business side overtake his professorial side for a moment.

“I hate to buy living artists,” he said, shaking his head. “Every day they paint stuff.”

Is This Woman Too Hot To Be a Banker?

Debrahlee Lorenzana says her no-account bosses fired her over her looks

Village Voice By Elizabeth Dwoskin

Everything about Debrahlee Lorenzana is hot. Even her name sizzles. At five-foot-six and 125 pounds, with soft eyes and flawless bronze skin, she is J.Lo curves meets Jessica Simpson rack meets Audrey Hepburn elegance—a head-turning beauty.

In many ways, the story of her life has been about getting attention from men—both the wanted and the unwanted kind. But when she got fired last summer from her job as a banker at a Citibank branch in Midtown—her bosses cited her work performance—she got even hotter. She sued Citigroup, claiming that she was fired solely because her bosses thought she was too hot.

This is the way Debbie Lorenzana tells it: Her bosses told her they couldn’t concentrate on their work because her appearance was too distracting. They ordered her to stop wearing turtlenecks. She was also forbidden to wear pencil skirts, three-inch heels, or fitted business suits. Lorenzana, a 33-year-old single mom, pointed out female colleagues whose clothing was far more revealing than hers: “They said their body shapes were different from mine, and I drew too much attention,” she says.

As Lorenzana’s lawsuit puts it, her bosses told her that “as a result of the shape of her figure, such clothes were purportedly ‘too distracting’ for her male colleagues and supervisors to bear.”

“Men are kind of drawn to her,” says Tanisha Ritter, a friend and former colleague who also works as a banker and praises Lorenzana’s work habits. “I’ve seen men turn into complete idiots around her. But it’s not her fault that they act this way, and it shouldn’t be her problem.”

Because Citibank made Lorenzana sign a mandatory-arbitration clause as a condition of her employment, the case will never end up before a jury or judge. An arbitrator will decide. Citibank officials won’t comment on the suit.

Her attorney, Jack Tuckner, who calls himself a “sex-positive” women’s-rights lawyer, is the first one to say his client is a babe. But so what? For him, it all boils down to self-control. “It’s like saying,” Tuckner argues, “that we can’t think anymore ’cause our penises are standing up—and we cannot think about you except in a sexual manner—and we can’t look at you without wanting to have sexual intercourse with you. And it’s up to you, gorgeous woman, to lessen your appeal so that we can focus!”

This isn’t your typical sexual-harassment lawsuit, if there is such a thing. For one thing, such suits often claim that women are coerced into looking more sexy or are subjected to being pawed. Lorenzana claims that her bosses basically told her she was just too attractive. And when she raised hell and refused to do anything about it—as if there was anything she really could do about it—she lost her job…

The tribulations of Don Quixote


EL PAÍS, the editorial “Alfaguara y el Círculo de Bellas Artes requested this year a new edition of “Premio Relato Breve”.  The participants began their writing with the opening lines of Don Quixote. This is the winning entry.

(Note: For proper translation, best read in Spanish)

Somewhere in La Mancha whose name I do not want to remember, not long ago lived a gentleman of the lance, ancient shield, a lean hack and a greyhound. He had a son from his marriage to Aldonza Lorenzo, who, after years of not always peaceful coexistence, not only ceased to have any resemblance to Dulcinea del Toboso but also left him for another gentleman more elegant and handsome. That son was his burden, he had turned out to be  outspoken and unbearable, so as not to lose his temper with him, Alonso Quijano, took some peace in his reading.

At first he read some pages at nap time, but soon he was reading several chapters a day. And the more  he read, the better he felt. In fact one can say that he would soon spend all his spare time in his library, immersed in a story that woultd transport him to other places and made him feel that he lived other lives.

Such was his desire that gradually he ceased to tend to his lands and son, and to some extent to his own life. The bills piled up, their debts grew to the point that the bank closed the credit line.  At this point, his friends, the curate, and the bachelor, with his son, took a strong decision: they had to end this literary dependence prevented Alonso Quijano care of  his family and business and live a life worthy of a gentleman. And burned his books.

It was a tremendous blow to Alonso Quijano. For several days, he was in shock and complete inactivity interrupted only by sudden outbursts of anger against his friends and his child.  It took him weeks to regain some normalcy and then he came to a decision. But much to the chagrin of his relatives, his decision was not to return to his previous responsibilities.  Alonso Quijano had other plans devoid of books as he was, grabbed a paper and pen and began to write a book himself.

This book gave him free rein to his dreams and nightmares, to which he would have liked to live and impediments that made it impossible, and wrote of the ideals of chivalry which had always seemed so noble. But mostly he invented a faithful squire named Sancho Panza who had not been lucky enough to find in his real life. His alter ego in the book was called Don Quixote, a name that seemed worthy of the stature of his favorite character.

As writing is a substance stronger than reading, fewer hours were devoted to this activity prior to reading. So he had time to take at his farm and spend some time with his child. He always carried a notebook in which he  jotted down his ideas, events or portraits of fantastic new characters for his novel.

Several years after publication, he gained great success that allowed him to finally get rid of his debts and above all, he found a new love: “la editora.”

From that time on, he lived happily. Only occasionally he locked himself in his new library, for his love of books never healed completely.