Style Counseling

How to get musically postmodern without really trying

VIDEO GUIDE TO HAIR TOSSING If there's one faux pas many alternative types make, it's strangling those endless tresses o' hair in a ponytail. Be proud of your lengthy locks. Remove that rubber band now and find out how long hair can work for you from the two masters who've made the 'do flip an indispensible part of rock 'n' roll:

Ian Astbury of the Cult: There's an ugly rumor going around that Astbury suffers from male pattern baldness and has resorted to borrowing wigs from Cher that she wore during her half-breed phase. Don't believe it. The truth is Ian has hair, and he knows how to toss it. The Cult's video library serves as a simple how-to guide for the novice tosser. Many consider the flail of his mane during the "Fire Woman" video to be his finest moment, but for the quintessential Astbury hair toss, you're going to have to go all the way back to the Cult's clip for "Love Removal Machine." Swaggering across the stage in leather hip-huggers, Astbury flings back several sweaty, blue-black locks in a gesture graceful enough for a shampoo commercial. Can the Breck contract be far behind?

Bono of U2: This singer and Irish supergroup made their mark in the Eighties by taking personally every one of the world's problems and doing a benefit concert to help combat each. But what really made them cry were critics who griped that they were just too darned serious. So, as a protest, U2 made the funniest rock-comedy ever, a film called Rattle and Hum. And one of the more hysterical running gags in the movie is Bono repeatedly snapping his neck back to send an exceedingly lengthy coiffure out from in front of his face and back out of his way. Does he look a little affected? You bet he does. But keep in mind that Bono has a keen eye for satire. You see, by employing the technique so often, he's just poking fun at Astbury and all the other hippie- flippers on the rock block.

EXCLUSIVE MOPE-ROCK RATINGS A clip 'n' save guide for any alternative music fan who thinks it's all right to cry.

(5 frowners) = Suicide City, dude.
(4 frowners) = Sad City, dude.
(3 frowners) = Self-Pity City, dude.
(2 frowners) = Sniffle City, dude.
(1 frowner) = Sentimental City, dude.

(4 frowners) The Cure: One fan in San Francisco was so moved by the Cure's passionately pessimistic music that he jumped on stage in the middle of a gig and stabbed himself several times in the chest. Could a mope band be paid a higher compliment?

(2 frowners) Depeche Mode: The Moders win points for ultragloomy discs like Black Celebration. And don't forget songwriter Martin Gore's penchant for bondage gear.

(1 frowner) Jesus and Mary Chain: Lots of foreboding feedback on their records, but the J&MC is penalized for being closet Beach Boys fans.

(5 frowners) Joy Division/New Order: Singer Ian Curtis all but ensured the Division's status as mope band nonpareil by hanging himself hours before his band's first American tour. As New Order, the remaining members plummeted from those dizzying heights of despair when they almost turned "Blue Monday" into a jingle for Sunkist orange juice.

(3 frowners) The Smiths: Hands-down winner of mopiest song title of all time: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now."

KNOW YOUR DEAD ICONS: A KILLER QUIZ

Fast-track socialite and Andy Warhol-groupie Edie Sedgwick has become the muse of choice for many an alternative rocker lately. Dramarama plastered her on an album cover. The Cult and Edie Brickell and New Bohemians both have recorded odes to the dearly departed deb. You can even catch a glimpse of Sedgwick during the opening montage of MTV's ever-cutting-edge video show, 120 Minutes.

Considering this outbreak of Edie- mania, alternative types everywhere need to bone up on the life and times of "Little Miss S." The following quiz provides a crash course in Edie-ology for any neophytes out there, while also testing the knowledge of even the most ardent Edie experts.

1) Everybody knows Bob Dylan penned the compassionate "Just Like a Woman" in tribute to Sedgwick, but what other Dylan tune was inspired by Edie?

a. "Motorpsycho Nitemare"
b. "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat"
c. "Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands"
d. "Lay Lady Lay"

2) Edie once served as on-stage go-go girl for which Sixties rock sensation?

a. Rolling Stones
b. Velvet Underground
c. Ultimate Spinach
d. Archies

3) Just twelve years after Edie torched her room at New York's legendary Chelsea Hotel, what famous rock couple took a match to theirs?

a. Tiny Tim and Miss Vickie
b. Patti Smith and Fred Sonic Smith
c. Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungeon
d. Eddie Van Halen and Valerie Bertinelli
4) Edie was famous for:
a. her modeling.
b. her acting.
c. like Zsa Zsa, just being famous.

d. a lot longer than those fifteen minutes her pal Andy was always talking about.

e. both c and d.
5) In rock-star fashion, Edie died of:
a. make-up poisoning.
b. asphyxiation, choking on a ham sandwich.
c. a drug overdose.
d. bullet wounds from being gunned down by a psychotic admirer.

ANSWERS

1) b
2) b
3) c
4) e
5) c

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