It's Top 5 Friday again and this week we have the other half of Every Little Counts, my husband, Adam Schwartz. It's funny because sometimes I'm not sure if all of my readers know that Every Little Counts is first and foremost a graphic t-shirt line, which is designed & produced by Adam and I in our Brooklyn studio. I like to say he makes up the snarkier side of Every Little Counts. Even though I totally roped him into this business of making romantic t-shirts for girls, he has been beyond incredible. We divide up the day between bickering and joking around, but we actually work really well together. And if you ever order a t-shirt from us, it's Adam who screenprinted it by hand with me acting as his assistant. But not only is he my business partner, he is also an artist, graphic and web designer and a photographer. He is also, on occasion, a professor... so he knows a lot about a lot and likes to talk about it.
So being just as obsessive as I am, Adam had a small problem narrowing down his answers. He definitely cheated in the book section, but I guess I'll allow it ;)
Here are Adam's Top 5....
Top Five Books:
-The Clash, Before and After, Penne Smith
-A Riot of Our Own: Night and Day with the Clash, Johnny Green
-Heat, Bill Buford
-Kitchen Confidential, Anthony Bourdain
These books are grouped together, which I know is cheating, but they're all the same kind of book, where I'm bored but don't feel like committing in some big way to a new book, I re-read these. They are my alternate fantasy lives: being a chef, and traveling back in time to be a member of the Clash's entourage. This is a small selection. One day I will open the Adam Schwartz Library of Books About the Clash.
The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem
I used to live in the Brooklyn neighborhood Lethem writes about - Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens. Today, it's a BoBo Stroller-ville, but Lethem writes about it back in the bad old 70's and 80's, when he grew up there. Hip hop, graffiti, Punk, getting mugged, going to public school. Fun.
Lush Life, Richard Price
Easily the best book I've read in the past couple years.
Cruising Paradise, Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard has said in interviews that he can't stand that he is known to most people as an actor. He's mostly a playwright and a screenwriter (Paris, Texas), but here he writes prose. This was written in the 1990's, and consists of little vignettes, pieces of dialogue and short stories.
Everything That Rises, Lawrence Weschler
In this book, Weschler points out all these images and paintings, etc, from different places, contexts and time periods, and how they're all related, and how we seem to have a common image bank as humans that we keep repeating. Nerdy but fascinating.
Top 5 Films
The Harder They Come
This movie was made kind of cheaply, has bad acting, sloppy camera work, poor sound and a really bad dance scene, but that doesn't make it any less awesome. It's a classic tale about a Jamaican shanty town dweller who rises to stardom as a reggae star and criminal, only to be cut down by the long arm of the law. It's like every gangsta rap song before there was such a thing.
"What is this? A center for ants?!"
The Good Thief
A re-make of the French new wave classic Bob le Flambeur directed by Neil Jordan. This one kind of came and went when it was released, but I love a good heist movie, and this one has it all - arabic hip hop, the sketchy south of France with its seedy clubs and drugs, a great heist, and an amazing, post-AA, gravelly, completely destroyed Nick Nolte, who's running on nothing but charm and some Leonard Cohen songs, and manages to save the day. Fun.
Instrument is easily one of the best music documentaries ever, and it's nice that it deals with not only a contemporary band (Fugazi), but one that's a bit tricky to understand and often gets simplified and stereotyped. This movie was artful enough to be included in the Whitney Biennial in 2000.
From Russia With Love
Something of a Bond fan, me. Most people point to Goldfinger, the third Sean Connery film, as the best of all time, but that's just because the original producers timed it so the hype peaked with the third film. Others like to get all "record collector" like, and go for On Her Majesty's Secret Service, the only one featuring George Lazenby as Bond, and the only one where Bond gets married. But they are all, tragically, wrong, because From Russia With Love is the best Bond film of all time.
Top 5 Artists
This was hard! I'm still not really committed to these...
Top 5 Crushes
When we get a cat, it will be name Penelope Cruz so that way we can live with Penelope Cruz.
Someone I read once panned a movie with her in it, because the material was too dark, and even though her acting was good, they said she's just too beautiful to do anything but just stand there. Tragic, really, since she went to Harvard and really can act. She does kind of hurt your eyes though.
Not anymore, but back in the day - the It Girl of the 90's. Now, she seems like an annoying person to be around, right?
I always thought she was the coolest member of Bikini Kill. She had this awesome bass that she borrowed from the guys in the Nation of Ulysses that had a big letter "P" on it, for P-Power. She sang one Bikini Kill song (I think it was I Hate Danger?).
Lead singer of a band called the Rondelles, originally from the same New Mexico scene that gave us the Shins. They moved to the East Coast when I was in college, and opened for The Make Up a lot. She played in bright mod dresses with an old beat-up Fender Flying-V tuned down to D.