Scarypoolparty performs his original songs “10 Years,” “Poison,” and “The Darkness,” for Rolling Stone on his Gibson Generation Collection G-200 acoustic guitar.
Every so often an artist comes along who emerges into the mainstream seemingly fully formed, with a style that is at once relatable, but also entirely unique. Alejandro Aranda, who records under the name Scarypoolparty, is one such artist. His approach is rooted in the confessional acoustic singer-songwriter mold, but encompasses everything from pop and rock to folk, prog, classical, experimental sounds and more. And it’s all shot through with an idiosyncratic guitar style that blends knotty and highly melodic single-note lines with non-standard tunings, unusual chord voicings and even percussive “thwaks” on the instrument, which propel the music forward with dizzying exhilaration.
This style is on full display in the three original songs Scarypoolparty recorded for Rolling Stone – “Darkness,” “Poison,” and “10 Years.” As for why he chose these three in particular, Scarypoolparty says, “I feel like musically, these are the songs that helped me develop my style of playing the guitar.”
And while Aranda also points out that two of these compositions – “Poison” and “10 Years” – were among the first he ever wrote on guitar, these new performances were helped along by a new addition to his artistry: the Gibson Generation G-200 acoustic guitar. In addition to premium artist features like all-solid construction, a thinner-than-usual body and an easy-playing neck, the guitar boasts a truly limit-pushing design concept: the all-new Gibson Player Port. This innovative feature, an original Gibson concept from the early ‘60s, projects sound out toward the player via a side-mounted sound hole on the body’s upper curve. Meaning that unlike with a standard acoustic guitar, musicians can now hear their instrument the exact same way the audience hears it.
Watch Scarypoolparty perform his original song “10 Years”: Here
Watch Scarypoolparty perform his original song “Poison”: Here.
“I play on the harder side, and some guitars can get a little muddy when you’re doing intricate lines,” he says. “But the Gibson Generation G-200 guitar just sounds so precise and loud. And with the Player Port, I can hear everything clearly – the same way the audience does. I don’t think I’ve ever had that experience before.”
For Aranda, it’s not just about the sound, but also the ease of playability. “The fretboard feels really nice and the neck is easy to move around on. I remember the first time I picked up the G-200 it already felt like I’d been playing it for a while. Which is something I’m always looking for in a guitar, but not something I usually find.” What’s more, due to the Generation G-200’s “Super Jumbo” acoustic body size, “it’s just loud,” Aranda says with a laugh. “Which is dope.”
Aranda also points to the G-200’s impressive low end, which came in particularly handy on his song “The Darkness.” “That one has a kind of repetitive bass note happening that drives the whole song,” he says. “So the guitar really lends itself to that.”
“The Darkness” was also a song that Aranda opted to perform for Rolling Stone alongside a video Gibson created using a groundbreaking sonic paintbrush technique. Scarypoolparty described his flow state and Gibson used robotics to sketch out icons, graphics, memes, and illustrations that described what was happening visually in his mind while he played. The result is an animated video for “The Darkness” that brings to life Scarypoolparty’s creative state when playing his Gibson Generation G-200 acoustic.
“In my mind, when I visualize ‘The Darkness’ I see someone at the beach… but it’s at, like, the end of the world,” he explains. “Kind of a post-apocalyptic thing. So there’s a duality that I tried to capture in the imagery, where there’s a certain sadness in the lyric but it is contrasted with an energetic happiness within the music.”
Watch Scarypoolparty perform his original song “The Darkness”: Here.
That vibe extends to Scarypoolparty’s music in general. “If I had to describe my sound, it’s almost like being in a state of peace, but also with a noticeable anxiety creeping up,” he says. “Like a beach on a cloudy day – maybe the sun will come out, and maybe it won’t.”
Aranda is currently out on tour supporting his most recent album release, The Act of Forgiveness, a 21-song double album that frames his acoustic guitar within orchestral flourishes and, he says, “tells a story, sonically.” But even after issuing so much new music, he’s already working on more. “I definitely have a lot of musical outputs that I’m trying to feed into,” he says. These include, at the moment, classical styles, break beats and drum ‘n’ bass sounds. “So I think the next album is going to be entirely different from the last, soundscape-wise.”
Regardless of where he ventures stylistically, the Gibson Generation G-200 guitar will no doubt help him along on his journey. “Oh, one-hundred percent,” he says. “This guitar definitely adds more of a character to the songs, just in terms of the tone, and how I hear that tone.”
And that doesn’t just go for new compositions, but older ones, too. “With ‘The Darkness,’ for instance, the G-200 is so great for the low-end,” Scarypoolparty explains. “I hear everything I’m doing with such clarity, especially when I’m doing those fast pull offs. So, it makes me focus in and do it even better, and now, I also do it more. I always look forward to playing these songs for people, but now I also look forward to playing them on a guitar like the Gibson Generation G-00. It makes the whole experience that much better.”
Watch Scarypoolparty perform “The Darkness” in the Gibson Generation Collection animated clip: Here.
Olivia Munn Shares a Sweet Photo of Her and Son Malcolm While Getting a “Surprise” Hair Treatment at Home
Olivia Munn & John Mulaney Welcome Baby No. 1 Together
It’s the little things—and little ones—in life that make it special!
On Sunday, Jan. 23, Olivia Munn took to Instagram to share that her friend, hairstylist Kylie Fitz, had visited her at home and surprised her with an impromptu pamper session by giving her hair a blowout.
Taken in the mirror by Olivia, the heartwarming photo sees Fitz adding curlers to the top of the X-Men: Apocalypse star’s head while she holds onto her son Malcolm, whom she welcomed in December with comedian John Mulaney. The adorable bundle of joy can be seen sleepily gazing off into the distance in his mom’s lap with a pacifier in his mouth while wearing a black beanie and comfy sweater.
“When your friend shows up and surprises you with a blowout even though you’re in your robe and not going anywhere,” Olivia captioned the sweet post. “Thank you @bykileyfitz for making today feel a little less post partum. ILYSM!”
A few celebrity friends quickly joined in on the Sunday celebration. “Oh mommy,” Kate Hudson commented, adding a heart emoji. “The best to be in that baby space.”
Since giving birth to Malcolm, Olivia has been open about her post-partum struggles including with breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is soooo hard, especially if you have low supply,” she shared on her Instagram Story on Jan. 19. “8 weeks in and I’ve taken a million vitamins, countless teas, lozenges, tinctures and worked with two lactation consultants. Breastfeeding. Is. Hard.”
But she’s been reveling in the joys of new motherhood too, calling her little one “the smooshiest smoosh” and sharing adorable videos of him making cooing noises and relaxing in a green-and-white striped onesie on her Instagram Story.
Olivia and John introduced Malcolm to the world by sharing a sweet snap of him on Christmas Eve. “Meet Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney,” John wrote. “He has his whole life ahead of him. He hasn’t even tried seltzer yet. I’m very in love with him and his whole deal. Happy Holidays.”
“My Golden Ox baby,” Olivia added, referencing her son’s Chinese Zodiac animal. “Malcolm Hiệp Mulaney. Happy Holidays.”
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‘My Daughter Had a Life’: Family of Lauren Smith-Fields Protest on What Would Have Been Her 24th Birthday
What would’ve been Lauren Smith-Fields’ 24th birthday celebration was instead a day of protest to demand answers and justice in her mysterious death. Today, approximately 100 family, friends, and activists gathered together in front of the Bridgeport, Connecticut, police department to march to the Margaret E. Morton Government Center, where they chanted “Happy Birthday, Lauren” and “Black Women Matter.”
“My daughter was a daddy’s girl,” Smith-Fields’ father, Everett Smith, said to the crowd. “To lose your daughter, your only daughter, your baby girl at the ripe age of 23 years old and to be treated the way we were treated by the Bridgeport police department is unacceptable. My daughter had a life, she traveled the world, she went to college and did tutorials on how to do hair and nails. She had a voice and that voice was stripped and the Bridgeport police station ain’t doing shit about it.”
On Dec. 12, following a Bumble date at her apartment, Smith-Fields was found unresponsive by a white man named Matthew Lafountain. Lafountain called police, reporting that Smith-Fields was unresponsive and had been bleeding from her nose. Smith-Field’s family — who learned of her death days later, after finding a note from the landlord on the door — found a used condom with semen and an unidentified pill in her apartment. They still have not received answers regarding her cause of death and describe communication with detectives as unprofessional and scarce. (Lafountain has not been charged with any crimes, and is not a suspect in the case. Rolling Stone has been unable to reach him for comment.)
The family is demanding answers from Bridgeport Police Department and are upset that they have not heard from city officials regarding the circumstances of Smith-Fields’ death. They also want an apology. The family says their frustration is rooted in the fact that the last person who saw Smith-Fields, Lafountain, was let go without further questioning and or investigation from police. They say the officers on the case have not been responding to their phone calls, and didn’t adequately examine evidence found at the scene of their daughter’s death. As of Friday, the family’s lawyer Darnell Crosland issued a letter to the Bridgeport City Clerk regarding their intent to sue.
“The police department has been racially insensitive to this family and has treated this family with no respect and has violated their civil rights,” wrote Crosland. “They have failed to investigate this matter, and they refuse to view the last person with Lauren Smith-Fields before she died as a person of interest. This behavior is unacceptable.”
Bridgeport Police Department has not responded to multiple requests for comment from Rolling Stone, but has previously issued a statement to NBC News: This investigation remains open and active. The Detective Bureau is awaiting the final report from the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office for cause and manner of death of Ms. Smith-Fields. The Bridgeport Police Department offers it’s sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Lauren Smith-Fields. We encourage anyone with information regarding this incident to contact either Detective-Sergeant Joseph Morales at 203-581-5219 or the Bridgeport Police TIPS line at 203-576-8477.”
Another family at the protest — that of Brenda Lee Rawls, 53, who died the same weekend as Smith-Fields — claim they were met with indifference by the Bridgeport PD after the untimely loss of a loved one.
“They treated my sister like a Jane Doe, like they found her on the side of the road with no identification,” said Dorothy Washington, Rawls’s sister. Similar to the Smith-Fields’ family, Rawls’s family say they received no notice or help from the Bridgeport police department.
“My family is very close and we don’t go a day without talking to each other. The last day we talked to Brenda was on Dec. 11,” Washington said. “On the 12th, she said she was going to a friend’s home to visit after that, we heard nothing from her.”
After days of calling and texting, the sister went to the man’s home that Rawls said she was visiting. “The guy said ‘Brenda? Oh, she died Sunday,’” said Washington. “‘A police officer and one coroner came to pick her up.’ My family called the hospitals, the police department and they knew nothing about her death.”
It wasn’t until the family contacted the Farmington Connecticut State Medical Examiner, that they found out where she was. Rawrs died Sunday and the family says they were informed on Tuesday. By the time they were aware, an autopsy had been conducted.
“They never called us for identification,” said Washington. “We went down there on Friday of that week and the guy at the window gave us the wrong detective’s name. That detective called me back and gave me the right detective’s name. They never started on the investigation. They never quarantined that guy’s house or questioned him. Never quarantined my sister’s apartment. I called [the detective] four or five times, he never reached out.” (Bridgeport PD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)
Smith-Fields’ mother wants to create a bill in Smith-Fields’ name that will create police accountability and for families to be notified within 24 hours of the death of a loved one.
Following the protest, Smith-Fields family and friends who were dressed in her favorite color, pink, released pink balloons into the sky as a celebration for her birthday. The crowd was then invited for cake at a local restaurant in the area.
“Today would’ve been her 24th birthday. In a couple of days she would have been leaving to go to Greece to celebrate but now that was taken away from her,” said her mother, Shantell Fields. “No one is going to disparage my daughter like she’s rubbish.”
Fashion Designer Thierry Mugler Dead at 73
French Fashion Designer Dead at 73
1/23/2022 3:29 PM PT
Thierry Mugler — an iconic French fashion designer — has died … this according to his team.
An Instagram on Mugler’s official page went up Sunday with the tragic news. It was a photo of nothing but a blank square, with the caption … “#RIP We are devastated to announce the passing of Mr Manfred Thierry Mugler on Sunday January 23rd 2022. May his soul Rest In Peace.” The same message was repeated in French as well.
Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.
No word on a cause of death, but his passing sees sudden and unexpected — as he didn’t appear to be ill or battling any known ailments.
As you can imagine, the tributes started to pour almost instantly … especially from folks in the fashion world, who knew Mugler well from his decades-long work and influence in the industry.
It goes without saying … Mugler has dressed some of the biggest names in the game, including Kim Kardashian — whom he actually graced with an outfit of his during the 2019 Met Gala, this after he’d officially retired — plus a plethora of other models and stars.
His extravagant designs have been fan-faves among celebs like Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Jerry Hall, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Rihanna, David Bowie, George Michael, Linda Evangelista, Demi Moore, Megan Fox, Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, Sharon Stone, Diana Ross, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Robin Wright, Bella Hadid … and many others.
All of them have donned Mugler-designed getups at one point or another, be it on the red carpet, on the runway … or on stage. The guy’s work touched at least 3 different decades of fashion — and he was absolutely beloved among Hollywood’s finest.
In addition to his clothing contributions, Mugler also left his mark in the fragrance biz … with a diverse line of perfumes that are still best sellers to this day.
He was 73.
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