Haute Highlights

News of the Week: Musicians show support for Japan

Even though Lady Gaga probably spends obnoxious amounts of time thinking up ideas for outfits, that doesn’t mean she’s completely out of the loop on world news. Gaga was among the many artists who proved their hearts aren’t only in music by designing a wristband that reads “We Pray for Japan,” priced at $5, with all proceeds going to the relief efforts in Japan. Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park also designed $25 T-shirts that will sponsor the efforts. Both products are available on the artists’ websites.

Movie Screening of the Week: Miral – Arclight, The Landmark
The last time we heard from Julian Schnabel, he was busy taping Lou Reed’s 2006 Brooklyn shows with equal parts distance and drool.
Now, the painter-turned-filmmaker is back with his most ambitious project to date: Miral.
Based on Rula Jubreal’s autobiograpical memoir, Miral follows the childhood tribulations of its titular character (Freida Pinto), a Palestinian girl raised amid the fury of the Arab-Israeli war.
The film has already inspired uproar. The Israeli government has denounced Schnabel’s depiction of Israeli military atrocities as lacking historic context, while others have protested against the casting of Pinto, an Indian actress, as the film’s Palestinian heroine.
In the hands of Schnabel, whose The Diving Bell and the Butterfly broke new visual and thematic ground for pictures on death, one thing is certain about Miral: Everyone will be talking about it.
Video of the Week: Rebecca Black – “Friday
The next viral video is here. Thirteen-year-old Rebecca Black’s music video for “Friday” has induced laughs for the past week with its horrid songwriting and sickening over-production. The teen’s video covers everything from a clear delineation of the days of the week to a highly difficult decision about where to sit in a car. Black’s video might not get her the exact brand of stardom she was looking for, but at least it’s gotten her name in the mouths of hundreds of Internet-browsers.
Song of the Week: “Back Then”- Gunnar Bjerk – DFA Records
James Murphy might be putting LCD Soundsystem in mothballs this spring, but Gunnar Bjerk’s debut single “Back Then” is a glimmer of hope for the future of DFA Records.
After several years of working as a sound engineer for the now legendary label that gave us acts such as LCD, Hercules and Love Affair and The Juan Maclean, Bjerk has unveiled his first solo work and it’s the stuff of sweet summer evening dreams.
Driven by slow, gossamer synths and mournful vocal work, “Back Then” might be too melancholic for a roll in the grass with a lover, but the memory of such innocent joy is present behind the song’s deceptively chillwave framework.
With Bjerk on the market, the future of electric music remains stoked and flickering.