GUEST BLOGGER SERIES Q&A: CHRIS CANTALINI OF GORILLA VS. BEAR FEATURING LEAD SINGER, DEE DEE OF DUM DUM GIRLS
Dee Dee - Tell us about the Fall 12 Helmut Lang / HELMUT essentials you selected.
It is very easy for me to wear Helmut Lang considering the color palette, loose but structured cuts, and gorgeous textures. Simple, sharp and lots of black. I’d never seen anything like these Midnight Floral boots, an almost tie-died marble leather. I am a total sucker for ankle boots, and the red popped in contrast with everything else. The Burnished Suede Tall Boots looked like a challenge as well as a statement. You don’t even need to wear anything else of note. A white tee shirt and necklace with black skintight boots up to your mid-thighs? Perfect. I loved the shoulder structure and leather detailing on the Wool Viscose Blazer. It added an instant polish to an otherwise very underwhelming pairing of a few basics of my own. The striking marbled leather Drift Print Belt was a way to break up an all-black ensemble, this worked very well. I plan on incorporating this into my stage wear. The Lush Voile top, is my ideal top - tight but comfortable sleeves and a flattering loose bodice. The cropped front hem works well with all the high-waisted shorts and pants to which I’m loyal. Of course my cat ruined it during the shoot, but now the blouse and that day will forever be fused in memory.
Chris - What made you select lead singer, Dee Dee from Dum Dum Girls as your musical muse for this project?
I’ve been a huge fan of Dum Dum Girls for almost 4 years now — back then it was Dee Dee’s solo project — and I’ve really enjoyed seeing her sound evolve. The band played our SXSW showcase a couple of years ago, and I was blown away by their live show. Their last full-length “Only in Dreams” was one of the best records of 2011, and based on what I’ve heard so far, their new “End of Daze” EP could be her prettiest work yet. Dee Dee also has a very distinctive, uncompromising personal style that seems sort of effortless, and that made her a natural choice. And I had a feeling she’d be a fan of Helmut Lang’s Fall ‘12 line (I was right, she even has a cat named Helmut).
Chris- What’s your Jam of the moment?
So many jams at the moment, there’s no way I could name just one. Let’s go with Ariel Pink’s “Mature Themes,” Usher’s “Climax” (jam of the year), Moons’ “Bloody Mouth,” Laurel Halo’s “Thaw,” Kendrick Lamar’s “Swimming Pools,” White Denim’s “Darlene,” Mac Demarco’s “My Kind of Woman,” Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland’s “The Narcissist,” and all of Jessie Ware’s “Devotion” and Chromatics’ “Kill For Love” LPs.
Chris - Your all time favorite cult-film is ____
I’m not even sure what still qualifies as a cult film in 2012. Maybe “City of God,” which I think was considered “cult” for a while there. It remains one of my favorite films ever. Or if we’re talking true cult films, in that no one ever saw them: there’s an insane Swedish exploitation film from the ’70s I found out about last year called “Thriller: A Cruel Picture,” that was allegedly one of Tarantino’s inspirations for “Kill Bill.” I also feel like the John C. Reilly comedy “The Promotion” was pretty underrated. If Harmony Korine’s next film “Spring Breakers” ends up being as ridiculous as it looks, that could be a contender too.
Chris - Tell us about your “ah-ha” moment that made you start blogging.
I can’t recall a specific revelatory “ah-ha” moment, as I wasn’t really that aware of music blogging as a platform or movement when I started Gorilla vs. Bear in early 2005. It was more of a gradual inclination to archive things — in this case, all of the brilliant, under-appreciated music that was coming out at the time — and to share with friends that were getting too busy to do the digging themselves anymore.
Chris - What new indie act should we have on our radar?
There’s a really good new band from Toronto called Diana. I think they only have two songs on their Soundcloud at this point, but I was lucky enough to get a copy of their excellent debut album, and I have a feeling people are going to love it. Also: Ryan Hemsworth, Laurel Halo, Fear of Men, Disclosure, Jessie Ware.
Chris- What music festival(s) are you most looking forward/ have been to this year?
We just held our own little mini-fest here in Dallas called GvsB II, and while I’m obviously biased, it was unreal. Chromatics put on the best show I’ve seen all year. Also, although it’s not technically a summer fest, I’m always psyched about Austin’s Fun Fun Fun Fest. It’s probably my favorite festival, and this year’s lineup is inspired as always.
Chris - The anthem this Fall is _____
Most likely something from Holy Other’s new album “Held” or the xx’s “Coexist.”
Chris - Are you on Spotify and/ or Soundcloud? Who are your favorite people to follow?
I love Spotify and Soundcloud, both play an integral part in my search for new music for the blog and for my SiriusXM radio show. My favorite people to follow on Soundcloud include Johnny Jewel (of Glass Candy/Chromatics), Nicolas Jaar, and an endless list of great labels.
Chris - As a blogger constantly traveling for shows, what’s the coolest destination you’ve been to?
We’ve been invited to festivals in Norway, Belgium, and Montreal in the past year or so (all very cool), but the coolest place to me is Big Sur. The Henry Miller Library is in the middle of a redwood forest, easily my favorite place in the world to see a show.
Chris - We can’t get enough of Instagram. What’s your favorite filter?
Big fan of Walden for its washed-out effect and Rise for its warm/faded vibes, but I think I have to go with #nofilter.
Chris - Top 3 Favorite personalities you follow on Twitter are….
Jose Canseco, Grimes, and NBA player Marquise Daniels.
Chris - You never leave the house without _____
My iPhone, and lately, my 1-year-old daughter.
Chris - Any new digital discoveries?
Not exactly new, but I’ve been using Spotify and Instagram daily for the past year or so, just like everyone else. Also the Yo Gabba Gabba iPhone app.
Chris - Your vices are ______
Buying vinyl records. Good 2 Go Taco here in Dallas. Bourbon
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