Datebook: 9.18.09

Five things worth knowing today

- And just as soon as one ends, another begins. Say hello to London Fashion Week, starting today.
- Meanwhile, back in the U.S., the 52nd annual Monterey Jazz Festival kicks off in California, bringing together more than 500 musicians for a three-day blowout.
- If you're a die-hard Megan Fox obsessive, you probably don't need us to tell you that her Sapphic-leaning cheerleading horror flick Jennifer's Body opens in theaters today. If you're not, well, why not exactly? Have you met this girl?
- Speaking of highbrow entertainment, today in 1851, The New York Times was first published.
- And today in 1939, comedian, Christopher Guest stalwart, and all-around supporting actor extraordinaire Fred Willard was born. Can he carry a movie? Well, not that we know of. (Studio execs: Give the guy a chance!) But a few good minutes from him can make dreck watchable, and the good stuff—like Waiting for Guffman, below—great.

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Datebook: 9.17.09

Five things worth knowing today

- One of the many consolations of fall, despite the summer's end? The return of great TV. First up: The Office, which begins its sixth season tonight.
- Speaking of endings, today's also the last day of New York Spring 2010 Fashion Week. Hold the lamentations—you've still got to come back tonight to check out our coverage of the week's final show, Tommy Hilfiger.
- The reasons to visit Stockholm, one of Europe's most beautiful cities, are many. Today, they're many +1: The Stockholm Beer & Whiskey Festival—because, you know, as peanut butter is to jelly, and leather to lace, so beer is to whiskey—begins today.
- Today in 1920, the American Professional Football Association—the precursor to today's NFL—was founded in Ohio. Fashion and football? What can we say, we're men of many interests.
- And today in 1931, the late, great Anne Bancroft was born. Or should we say—no other introduction necessary—Mrs. Robinson? See below.

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Datebook: 9.16.09

Five things worth knowing today

- The brothers Caten—better known as the designers of Dsquared²—have become the latest designers to star in their own reality show. Launch My Line, which finds the brothers advising ten hopefuls on founding their own labels, premieres tonight on (where else?) Bravo.
- The Armani-sponsored exhibition of pop artist Richard Hambleton, co-curated by fashion-world progeny Vladimir Restoin-Roitfeld, opens today in New York.
- That takes care of artistic philanthropy. For the day's green initiative, be advised that it's International Ozone Day. Begone, ye methane producers, begone!
- Today in 1630, the village of Shawmut underwent a name change. Haven't heard of the "before"? You've probably heard of the "after": We now know it as Boston. Probably for the best. "The Shawmut Red Sox" just doesn't have the same ring.
- And today in 1952, the one, the only, Mickey Rourke was born. He's had his ups and downs, sure—stylistically and otherwise—but it's hard not to route for the guy. Especially when, as below, he's capable of speeches like Randy the Ram's epic "piece of meat" speech from The Wrestler.

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Datebook: 9.15.09

Five things worth knowing today

- Hispanic Heritage Month starts today (albeit in the middle of the month; it runs through mid-October), celebrating the achievements and contributions of Hispanic-Americans. Here's looking at you, Oscar de la Renta!
- Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche (who, we are obliged to report, is also pretty easy on the eyes) makes her dance debut in the much-buzzed-about In-I, a piece she created with choreographer Akram Khan, at BAM.
- And if you were curious to know the 69 stories behind the Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs—and all of the other hits from North Carolina's Merge Records— Our Noise, an oral biography of the label, comes out today.
- Today is also, according to the U.N., the International Day of Democracy.
- And today in 1971, actor Josh Charles was born. Who? Yeah, we know—but the whole point is, the guy should be better recognized. He's got a ton of work under his belt, from Dead Poets Society to In Treatment, but we'll always think of him as Dan Rydell in the late, great Aaron Sorkin show Sports Night (below).

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Datebook: 9.14.09

Five things worth knowing today

- The media abounds today with spectacles lowbrow and high. On the former front: Jay Leno, whose new primetime variety hour, The Jay Leno Show, premieres tonight with his first guest, Jerry Seinfeld.
- On the latter, Jane Campion's John Keats biopic, Bright Star, premieres in New York. Take it as a sign that the summer blockbuster season's officially over. Say hello to Oscar bait!
- Meanwhile, Costa Rica—a.k.a. our Plan B new home for surfing and lounging if the whole fashion-writer thing doesn't pan out—begins the celebration for its Independence Day tomorrow, with parties and parades from now until dawn.
- Meanwhile, our native land has a milestone, too: Today in 1814, Francis Scott Key wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner" after witnessing British bombardment in the War of 1812.
- And today in 1982, Grace Kelly—princess, Hitchcock heroine, leading candidate for Most Beautiful Woman of All Time, according to our own scientific polls—died following a car accident. Below, Kelly in Hitch's To Catch a Thief.

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Datebook: 9.11.09

Five things worth knowing today

- It's Patriot Day, the anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
- In happier news, it's also the start of New York Craft Beer Week, with 83 participating venues pouring more than 150 brews. That sounds like a challenge to us. (Just be sure to pin your address and your cab fare somewhere safe for the inevitable pour-into-a-taxi-home.)
- It's also the start of the weekend-long All Tomorrow's Parties Festival. Indie rock's current heroes, from Sufjan Stevens to Animal Collective, are slated to perform, but there's something for the old-time grumps who are certain the scene's not what it used to be: the scene, as it used to be. The Feelies and Suicide will each play their landmark first albums start to finish.
- Speaking of music, today in 1962, the Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You." (Don't hold the crappy Hilary Swank movie of the same name against the latter.)
- And today in 1977, rapper Ludacris was born. No snark here—we love the guy. Who else could make a whole song out of area codes? See below.

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Datebook: 9.10.09

- The madness (officially) starts. Tonight marks the start of New York Fashion Week, as well as being Fashion's Night Out. Bottled water, Red Bull, and Advil at the ready? Let the games begin.
- Or, we suppose, you could skip town and hit the annual Oscar-bait hoedown, the Toronto International Film Festival, which begins today. The much-buzzed An Education and Jennifer's Body will be there, as will (via videoconference, at least) Lars von Trier, who may be able to explain just what the hell all the genital mutilation in Antichrist is about.
- Or for a slightly less violent good time, VH1 premieres its latest Behind the Music: Lil' Wayne. Weezy F. Baby—perhaps the only guy as bombastically nuts as Lars von Trier?
- Big day in fashion: Today in 1846, Massachusetts' Elias Howe received the patent for the sewing machine.
- Big day not in fashion: Today in 1934, late Yankee Roger Maris was born. Yes, a little out-of-left-field (as it were), but sometimes you need a palate cleanser after all that style coverage—so here's Maris breaking Babe Ruth's single-season home-run record with big #61 in 1961.

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Datebook: 9.09.09

Five things worth knowing today

- Sundance premieres The Day Before, the first of its four mini-docs on the 36 hours leading up to a runway fashion show. Tonight, Sonia Rykiel gets before the lens to pull her hair and fret; next week, Jean Paul Gaultier, and in the weeks following, the Proenza Schouler guys and the Kaiser himself.
- Meanwhile, Wordless Music—the group that brought rockers to the Whitney Museum—presents the 802 Tour, bringing Vermonters Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, and Doveman to New York to ply their brand of hyper-literate classical-cum-indie-rock.
- Today's west-coast trivia: California celebrates its statehood on California Admission Day, commemorating the date in 1850 when the distant west joined the union.
- Today's east-coast trivia: Washington, D.C., was christened today in 1791, named for founding father and President George Washington.
- Today's middle-states trivia: King of Soul Otis Redding—who recorded his greatest hits for Memphis' Stax/Volt Records—was born in 1941. He died—early, in a plane crash at 26—much, much too soon. Check out his career-making performance at '67's Monterey Pop Festival, below.

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Datebook: 9.04.09

Five things worth knowing today

- Mike Judge's Extract hits theaters today, starring our perennial favorite Jason Bateman. It's no Arrested Development movie, but we'll just think of it as the appetizer to that main course. (See you next year, Bluth family!)
- In the Midwest, the 31st annual Chicago Jazz Festival begins, giving locals and eager visitors a big helping of the art form the city helped to create.
- While over in Brussels, Belgian Beer Weekend gives locals and eager visitors a big helping of the art form that city helped create.
- Today in 1781, the city of Los Angeles was founded.
- And today in 1977, producer and DJ Mark Ronson was born. He's an acknowledged style icon now—and cool-stuff connoisseur—but we kinda like the good old days, too. Catch a glimpse of his pre-Band-of-Outsiders era, below.

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Datebook: 9.03.09

Five things worth knowing today

- You know the US Open is being played at the moment. But did you know it's also the Italian Gay Open, put on by the Associazione Tennisti Omosessuali? Niche crowd, sure, but nice to know the great sport of tennis has something for everybody. (Or at least every Italian.)
- In New York, actress Amber Tamblyn drops by the Bowery Poetry Club to read from her second book, Bang Ditto. We might rather see her read from boyfriend David Cross's book, in which he memorably—and, by some lights, poetically—memorialized their relationship.
- Today in 1783, Great Britain and her former colonies (a.k.a. the United States) signed the Treaty of Paris, officially ending the Revolutionary War. Think of it as the birthday of those Made in the U.S.A. labels of which we're so fond.
- And today in 1955, guitarist and Sex Pistol Steve Jones was born. Evidently, not all rabble-rousers took off for the colonies and declared independence; a few—and their descendants some centuries later—stuck around to incite "Anarchy in the U.K." See below.

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