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Oct 2013 18

by Nicole Powers

Paradise is Diablo Cody’s fourth full-length feature film, but her first as both a writer and director, and is perhaps her most gloriously entertaining endeavor to date.

The film tells the story of Lamb Mannerheim (played by Julianne Hough), a young girl from a highly religious small town in Montana who has a crisis of faith after she loses her fiancé and is badly burned in a horrific plane crash. Scarred inside and out, she denounces her belief in God in the most spectacular of ways – in front of her parents (Holly Hunter and Nick Offerman), family, friends, neighbors, and entire community – from the pulpit of her local church during a sermon in which she was supposed to announce a substantial gift from her multi-million dollar settlement check. Instead, she takes herself and her windfall off to the Devil’s playground, otherwise known as Las Vegas.

On a mission to seek out the worldly pleasures she’s missed out on, she befriends a lascivious and licentious barman named William (Russell Brand) and his cohort, a nightclub singer named Loray (Octavia Spencer). Though running away from God and the narrow-minded morals of her hometown, Lamb’s spiritual journey through Paradise, Nevada (where the Las Vegas Strip technically resides) ultimately helps her find herself.

But this is no heavy-handed morality/immorality tale. Thanks to Cody’s wonderfully witty script, intelligent observations, and sharp direction, and the comedic talents of her incredible cast, Paradise is enlightening in more ways than one. We caught up with Cody recently to talk about the film.

Read our exclusive interview with Diablo Cody on SuicideGirls.com.

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Sep 2013 20

by Nicole Powers

“I’m a pop junkie,” says Victoria Hesketh a.k.a. Little Boots, whose stated goal is to write the perfect pop song. It could be argued that the British singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist has already done that with the 2009 single “New In Town” from her debut album Hands, but Hesketh modestly insists she has yet to attain that songwriting holy grail.

The word “pop” when describing any artistic medium is often considered to be synonymous with shallow and disposable, but the music Hesketh makes is most definitely not of that ilk. Unlike many who seek popular music success, Hesketh has put in the work and refused to sacrifice her individuality. She’s learnt her craft, paid her dues, and stayed true to her somewhat geeky self, and in doing so has created a DIY electro-pop aesthetic all of her own. Rejecting over-polished pop, Hesketh incorporates lo-fi sounds from offbeat gadgets such as the Stylophone and Tenori-on into her well-crafted songs.

It’s this down to earth, quirky, and honest approach that resonates with fans, who appreciate that she’s never conformed to the pop princess mold – though conversely it’s something that no doubt frustrated her first major label Warner Music Group home. Creative differences led to an amicable split after the release of her first album, and now Little Boots is doing her own thing her own way.

Her second album, Nocturnes, which was produced by Mo’ Wax co-founder Tim Goldsworthy (now of disco-punk label DFA records), was released via Hesketh’s On Repeat Records imprint earlier this year, and a video for the song “Satellite,” which she directed, debuted this month.

We caught up with Hesketh by phone as she was preparing for her upcoming US tour, which kicks off in Santa Ana, California this weekend.

Read our exclusive interview with Little Boots on SuicideGirls.com.

Little Boots album Nocturnes, featuring the single “Satellite”, is out now. Her US tour kicks of at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA on Sunday, September 22nd, 2013. For more info visit littlebootsmusic.co.uk/.

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Sep 2013 17

by Nicole Powers

Morcheeba’s lush sound – which is topped off by singer Skye Edwards’ velvety soft, soothing and sensual voice – is like a warm bath. It’s something you should surrender and sink into.

Coming to the fore in the mid-nineties alongside such artists as Portishead, Tricky and Massive Attack, Morcheeba helped define the trip hop genre with the mellow vibes and downtempo grooves of their seminal 1996 debut, Who Can You Trust. They’ve always refused to be confined by the tenets of trip hop however, and in the intervening years the UK trio – which is comprised of Edwards and brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey – have transcended the genre they helped create.

Though Morcheeba’s music is often supremely relaxing, it’s never tired, and their forthcoming studio album, the band’s eigth, is no exception. While retaining their unique warm and mellow sound, and delving back into their hip hop roots, the new release, Head Up High, has a subtle yet invigorating upbeat kick – something the band refer to as “Morcheeba with a pulse.”

On the eve of a string of North American and European dates, we caught up with Edwards to talk about the new album, which hits stores on October 14th.

Read our exclusive interview with Skye Edwards of Morcheeba on SuicideGirls.com.

Morcheeba are playing the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, CA on Friday, September 20th and the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA on Saturday, September 21st. For more info visit Morcheeba.co.uk/.

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Jul 2013 27

by Blogbot



Video streaming by Ustream

This past Thursday July 27th on SuicideGirls Radio, hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide were joined by FIVE amazing bands as they previewed some of the awesome talent featured on next weekend’s Sunset Strip Music Festival.

Amir Derakh and Anthony “Fu’ Valcic from Julien-K, Josh Boardman and Stephen Bannister from Battle Tapes, Matthew Stolarz and Johnty Thompson from The Active Set, Will Love of Sabrosa Purr, and Andy Clockwise all stopped by the studio to party with the ladies, and partake in the odd beer or three. As you can imagine, with so much booze and so many boyz, things got a little wild and outrageous amounts of fun was had by all. Witness the good times and great music in the player above!

For more info on the Sunset Strip Music Festival visit their website and follow them on Twitter. Huge thanks go out to Alex Greenberg of MSO for making this show possible.

Next week’s show will feature dating expert Marni Kinrys of The Wing Girl Method plus Moon and Brewin Suicide.

You can listen – and watch – the world’s leading naked radio show live on Thursday nights from 6 til 8 PM at our new state-of-the-art all digital home: TradioV.com/LA.

You’ll also be able to listen to our podcasts via Stitcherdownload the app now!

If you have questions for the SG Radio crew or our guests, you can call in during the live broadcast at: 1-855-TRV-inLA (1-855-878-4652)

For updates on all things SG Radio-related, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Jul 2013 15

by Blogbot

This Thursday July 18th on SuicideGirls Radio hosts Nicole Powers and Juturna Suicide, and guest co-host-in-residence Dell Cameron, will be joined in-studio by investigative journalist, truth seeker and news junkie Jason Leopold, who has reported extensively on Guantanamo Bay.

166 prisoners remain in indefinite limbo at the US military outpost, despite the fact that 86 of them have technically been cleared for release. Currently 81 are on hunger strike, with 45 of those being force fed – a horrific procedure which was graphically illustrated recently by Yasiin Bey a.k.a. Mos Def who volunteered to undergo it for a video produced by the human rights organization Reprieve UK [see above].

Despite campaigning on the promise of closing Guantanamo, conditions at the facility under Obama are worse than ever. A recent letter from Younous Chekkouri, an inmate who has been behind bars for more than 11 years, revealed that sexual abuse is commonly used as a deterrent to stop Guantanamo prisoners contacting their lawyers, family and friends (a claim that has been backed up by other inmates – see report below), and a FOIA request filed by Leopold exposed the fact that the Obama administration is aware that guards are routinely violating the military’s own Standard Operating Procedures.

Leopold has visited Guantanamo twice and therefore has a rare insight into what day-to-day life is like there. In an article entitled A Guantanamo Tour, which was published by Al Jazeera in January of this year, he reports:

Each cell has a bed, a metal sink and a metal toilet, leaving a functional living space little more than half the size of an average horse stall. Prisoners are allowed a Koran, as well as books and magazines to while away the years.

During a walk-through of an empty cellblock in Camp 5, we were led into the “media room,” about the size of a cell, where a dirty reclining chair faced a television set. At the foot of the recliner were leg shackles and next to the television set was a force-feeding kit, a grim reminder of the prolonged and widespread hunger strike that brought me here looking for answers.

All of the cells had surveillance cameras attached to the ceiling. Prison garb – white for compliant prisoners and orange for those who misbehave – was neatly laid out on a thin mattress pad along with toiletries provided to the inmates: toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.

Camp 5 is maximum security, holding the most troublesome prisoners in isolation 22 hours a day, with two hours out of their cells for showers and “recreation.”

Prisoners at Camp 6, on the other hand, were once allowed to leave their cells and mingle freely with other prisoners in a communal living arrangement where they shared meals, a recreation yard and gym privileges. There once was free access to satellite television, video games, DVDs, books and a wide range of comfort items.

That all changed two months into the hunger strike, when tensions flared and violence erupted, culminating in an April 13 pre-dawn raid by the guards. Since that time, occupants of Camp 6 have been confined to their cells in isolation, the same as residents of Camp 5. They are wakened as early as 3 a.m. for their two hours of recreation time.

The crackdown has done little to enhance relations between captors and captives, some of whom have spent more than a decade occupying this peculiar state of 8-by-10 limbo – untried, uncharged and with little hope of resolution.

Suicide attempts – some successful – have been documented among prisoners over the years. Now it seems the unprecedented hunger strike – a form of slow and deliberate mass suicide – is the only means of control at their disposal.

You can listen – and watch – SuicideGirls Radio live on Thursday nights from 6 til 8 PM at our new state-of-the-art all digital home: TradioV.com/LA.

You’ll also be able to listen to our podcasts via Stitcherdownload the app now!

If you have questions for the SG Radio crew or our guests, you can call in during the live broadcast at: 1-855-TRV-inLA (1-855-878-4652)

For updates on all things SG Radio-related, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

About Jason Leopold | @JasonLeopold
Jason Leopold is an investigative reporter covering Guantanamo, counterterrorism, national security, human rights, open government and civil liberties issues. He’s been called a “FOIA Terrorist” by federal employees for his aggressive use of the Freedom of Information Act, which included suing the FBI and forcing the agency to changes its policies.

He’s the author of the national bestseller, News Junkie, and an investigative report, From Hopeful to Immigrant to FBI Informant: The Inside Story of the Other Abu Zubaidah, which was published in the form of an ebook. Leopold’s investigative reporting highlights includes “Revised Guantanamo Force-Feed Policy Exposed,” a story based on a military document he exclusively obtained, and “Sold Into ‘A Piece of Hell’: A Death of Innocence at Gitmo,” about the suspicious death in September 2012 of prisoner Adnan Latif. A radio documentary about Leopold’s life, based on his book News Junkie, was broadcast by the award-winning podcast, Love + Radio and featured on NPR.

**UPDATE**

ICYMI: Last night’s ‪#‎GITMO‬ To Go Show with investigative journalist, truth seeker and news junkie Jason Leopold, who has reported extensively on Guantanamo Bay.



Video streaming by Ustream

Here’s a link to the CNN “Names & Feces” CNN news/propaganda report Jason mentions during our conversation.

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Jul 2013 13

by Blogbot



Video streaming by Ustream

This past Thursday, July 27th, our show was devoted to the topic of Bradley Manning. Host Nicole Powers and guest co-host Dell Cameron (VICE) were joined via Skype by independent journalist Alexa O’Brien, artist and activist Clark Stoeckley (Wikileaks Truck), and RT America reporter Andrew Panda Blake, who have all spent quality time on the Fort Meade base observing the trial.

Alexa O’Brien has been called “a national treasure” by Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project for her work chronicling the Manning proceedings. Though working outside of the mainstream media, she has provided by far the most extensive coverage of the trial. During our 45 minute conversation, O’Brien talked about the unprecedented treatment Manning is receiving and the alarming precedents with regards to whistleblowers and the freedom of the press that the US government is trying to set with this case:

“Manning is being tried in a court martial, so it’s a military court…But what makes it unusual is here we have a whistleblower, or even if you want to call him a leaker, we have somebody who is a soldier who is being tried for aiding the enemy – without the intent to actually aid the enemy. He gave the information to a media organization, or he published it on the internet, and they’re charging him with aiding the enemy, even though he didn’t have that bad faith motive.

“The other thing that I think is really important about this trial, and unprecedented, is that he has charges against him that have never been used in either a federal court or in a military court. One of them is called “Wanton Publication” – this is where the government is trying to also control large data sets being published…

“It has co-aspects to it…It’s the fact that he leaked it to Wikileaks and the government’s trying to [frame] Wikileaks [as] this evil organization, and not a journalistic one, but it also has to do with the size of the leaks. You and I know that in this day and age, with data modeling and the like, large leaks are completely appropriate for the age this young man grew up in, which is basically the information age.

“But people always talk about aiding the enemy, and they should, but when we even take away the aiding the enemy charge, Manning is charged with 21 other charges that total 149 years if he’s convicted. So here we also see the government using the Espionage Act, which should be used for spies, is addition to aiding the enemy and everything else.”

O’Brien not only talked about the legal and moral aspects of the case, but gave an incredible insight into the character of the key players inside the Fort Meade military courtroom:

“The military prosecutors, they come into court, they talk about Al Qaeda and the enemy, and they talk about harming US soldiers – and there is no actual evidence of any harm, and that will come up later in the sentencing phase. They talk about the US and patriotism, and they’re very aggressive.

“And then you have the defense…

“David Coombs is an amazing defense attorney and he plays this case like a poker player, everything is very close to his chest. He’s not very vocal in the press, in fact Manning has never really talked to the media. He also has shielded his own defense tactics…And here we have him come into court and when David Coombs is actually cross examining he’s really likeable – immediately likeable – so he’s very disarming, but boy, he can really just cut apart witnesses, and he’ll do it with a smile and in a really respectful way. It’s really amazing to watch him.

“And then you have this judge, who is probably two generations older than Manning, and the questions that we have are ‘does she really understand the environment that Manning grew up in and his upbringing in the information age.’”

Our next guest was Clark Stoeckley, who is familiar to many activists as the man responsible for the art installation on wheels that is the Wikileaks Truck. Stoeckley, who comes from a military family, has been supporting Manning – and the truth – by sporting a “truth” T-shirt in court and serving as a courtroom sketch artist:

“I’ve sat in the courtroom in more seats than any other person ever, both in the courtroom, in the press room, in the theater, and the overflow trailer. I’ve tried to get as many different angles of this trial as possible. It’s a trial that I believe should be televised for the world to see…

“We’re going after the sources, and we’re going after those that report this information, rather than focusing on the misdeeds and the corruption of our governments and corporations.”

The illustrations featured in this blog post are all by Stoeckley, and will be collected together into a graphic book, The United States vs. PFC Bradley Manning, featuring quotes from the court transcripts.

In depth coverage of the trial has been noticeable by its absence in the mainstream media, which is why independent journalists like O’Brien and citizen journalists like Stoeckley have been so invaluable. One of the few outlets that has provided consistent coverage of the trial, somewhat ironically for such a historic US case, has been RT a.k.a. Russian Television. Andrew Panda Blake, a reporter for RT, has been covering the Manning beat and joined us for the final half hour of the show. Among other things, he gave us an insight into the incredibly harsh treatment an as-yet-to-be-convicted Manning received at the hands of the US government:

“He was arrested on 8/26 2010 and he was transferred to an 8 by 8 by 8 wire mesh cage in Kuwait, and the only things in the cage were a shelf and a toilet…When he testified a few month ago, he said, ‘I just thought I was going to die in that cage…’

“‪Manning said he thought he was being treated like an animal. He was there for almost two months, and then they flew him into BWI, that’s the Baltimore Airport, then brought him to Quantico in Northern Virginia. He was held in a Marine brig there in a cell that was 6 foot by 8 foot. He was only allowed out for 20 minutes per day while still in shackles…So he was in there for twenty-three and a half hours a day. He was forced to sleep from 1 PM to 11 PM – naked – and was only allowed to do so when facing his lamp. This was at the most extreme of his conditions, it wasn’t always this terrible. Pretty much the only thing he had in there was a mirror and he would make faces into it – that’s how he’d keep himself entertained…

Blake also gave us the run down of the possible outcomes for the trial, and the worrying precedents it might set:

“The trial is supposed to be all done by the end of the summer. Bradley has already admitted guilt to a handful of lesser crimes that would get him perhaps 20 years in prison. The prosecution said that that wasn’t good enough for them and they want to keep charging forth. They’re still trying to convict him on aiding the enemy, and if he gets convicted on aiding the enemy that could potentially be a life sentence…

“What really infuriates me more tha anything else about this case – aside from the terrible treatment that Private Manning had to endure – people aren’t responding to this case, and they are picking up on it to the degree that they should, but the repercussions that could happen if he’s convicted of aiding the enemy will seriously destroy freedom of the press, and potentially Western democracy. It’s such a blow to journalism and press freedom that the publication and the distribution of this documentation of war crimes warrants a potential death penalty. And it’s not even hyperbole because they have been trying to convict so many people for espionage that have only been exposing really terrible truths that the US government is guilty of and never would have admitted to.

***

SuicideGirls would like to thank all of our amazing guests for participating in our show – and for contributing to the public record of this historic trial.

***

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Jul 2013 09

by Nicole Powers

“There’s only one thing worse in society than the poor house and that’s the mad house.” ~ Adam Ant

Back in the early ’80s, Adam Ant was the king of the wild post-punk frontier. Mentored by former Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren and his fashion designer partner Vivienne Westwood, the London born art school dropout created a visually vivid world of pirates and dandies which brought color back to the palate of a culturally monotone and economically depressed UK.

Having amassed an avid US fanbase with his music, and after starring in a critically acclaimed West End production of the Joe Orton play Entertaining Mr. Sloane, Ant moved to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. However the price of fame took its toll. Alongside film and TV roles, he also aquired a stalker, which severely impacted his already fragile peace of mind.

Taking a break from the public eye, Ant moved to Tennessee before returning to London, where an altercation outside a pub thrust him back into the headlines again. Following the incident, Ant pled guilty to a single count of causing an affray. Having been diagnosed with bipolar disorder at age 21, Ant received a suspended sentence and court ordered psychiatric care. Unfortunately, due to the relentless nature of the British press, he was forced to pull his life back together under the tabloid glare.

Though his recovery was very public and far from linear – with every setback being exacerbated by its salacious documentation by the less savory contingent of the UK press – Ant is clearly in a much better place these days. He completed a string of dates in the US and Europe in 2012, before releasing his first studio album in 17 years. The intriguingly titled Adam Ant Is The Blueblack Hussar in Marrying The Gunner’s Daughter was released on both side of the Atlantic in January of this year.

SuicideGirls caught up with Ant by phone after a rehearsal with his new band The Good, The Mad & The Lovely Posse to talk about his new album and his upcoming US tour, which kicks off in San Diego on July 17th.

Read our exclusive interview with Adam Ant on SuicideGirls.com.

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