Coffee-Table Book: Ryan McGinness, Works

Photograph courtesy of Rizzoli New York As a young skate punk in Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ryan McGinness couldn't afford the logo'd gear his friends wore, so he started stenciling shirts with his own designs. Now those quasi-corporate Day-Glo symbols have turned him into a brand name, at least in the art world. Though McGinness' recent paintings have a fractallike complexity, his new retrospective, Works (Rizzoli, $55), is as viewer-friendly as the early art that made him famous. This unpretentious guide includes not only images of McGinness' creations but also an essay by Greg Lindquist, an interview with David Byrne, see more


Peter Bjorn and John, Living Thing [Almost Gold/StarTime International] Our rating: 5 out of a possible 5 Animal Collective could learn a few things about accessibility from these Swedes, who spin gloriously listenable pop from out-there influences. PB&J jump from ringing guitar (on "I Want You!") to doo-wop vocals (on "Stay This Way")—all with a bit more thump than their twee-ish Writer's Block—and still make a frenzy sound focused. Matt Hendrickson READ MORE: The Decemberists' latest falls flat The five best FM radio stations see more
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Photograph by Brad Bridgers Inspiration has to come from somewhere. For certain designers it's seventies glam rock. Others look to the great outdoors, while still others revisit the singular style of sixties Italian matinée idols. Stefano Pilati, in his spot-on spring collection for Yves Saint Laurent, focused on military gear, in which design and function have always held equal weight. The result is a sturdy canvas duffel with contrast handles and stencil detailing suggestive of an officer's rank and serial number. Masculine, versatile, and understated, the bag gives new definition to standard-issue. Courtney Colavita READ MORE: The best jackets see more

Coffee-Table Books: Auditorum Editions

Photographs courtesy of Christopher Griffith If you can't find a publisher, become one. That's what photographers (and Details contributors) Christopher Griffith, Christian Weber, and Jake Chessum are doing with Auditorium Editions, a new imprint that will release a handful of limited-run titles this year. The first three books will be by the aforementioned lensmen and include stark images of shredded tires, evocative pictures of the aftermath of California's forest fires, and poetic depictions of litter. Katie Hintz READ MORE: A must-have monograph of Jeff Koons Versailles exhibit Rizzoli's reflection on Stephen Sprouse see more


The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love [Capitol Records] Our rating: 1 out of a possible 5 Sure, lead singer Colin Meloy is a word nerd, but that doesn't excuse this spectacularly overwrought fifth album. The verbose lyrics tell a single bizarre story (at one point, a woman is ravaged by an animal), and the messy marriage of English folk and Sabbath-esque metal offers no escape. Even diehards will have a tough time getting through this one. Matt Hendrickson READ MORE: Telepathe puts a fresh spin on New Wave Neko Case on her solo album and sodomy jokes see more

The Best FM Radio Stations

Photograph courtesy of The next time you're trapped in a rental car on a business trip, think twice before plugging your iPod into that aux jack. Leaving town without sampling the local airwaves is like going to Disney World without riding Space Mountain. Ian Daly LOS ANGELES The Station: KCRW 89.9 The Genre: Alternative rock, electronic, world The Hook: DJ Jason Bentley, a mellow Santa Monica native and 16-year KCRW veteran, hosts the nine-to-noon weekday show "Morning Becomes Eclectic," which has introduced listeners to bands like the Doves, Animal Collective, and the Brakes during its 32 years on see more

How To Avoid the Office Strain

Photograph courtesy of RKO/The Kobal Collection Sitting at your desk can screw up your body in many ways—and slouching in your chair sure doesn't help. Here's how to spare yourself some on-the-job stress. Katie Hintz Your eyes should take a break from the computer screen at least three times an hour in order to maintain moisture and rest their muscles. Your shoulders should be relaxed and aligned with your hips. Instead of leaning across your desk when you need the stapler, keep frequently used tools within arm's reach. And your computer screen should be 20 inches from your face. see more


The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose [Grand Central, $25] The premise is gimmicky: As a sophomore at Brown University, Kevin Roose spent a semester at Jerry Falwell's no-kissing-allowed Liberty College. Get past the 21-year-old's novice airs and you'll find a story that's sharp and balanced—a wonder for a boy with lesbian aunts and Naderite parents. Erica Cerulo READ MORE: Javier Calvo channels Charles Dickens Jedediah Berry echoes Borges and Terry Gilliam
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Photograph courtesy of Ray-Ban After reissuing the Wayfarer in 2006, Ray-Ban is resurrecting another classic, the Clubmaster. Reminiscent of the glasses worn by Malcolm X and other sixties figures, the frames come in seven new colors, in addition to the original tortoise and black. Katie Hintz READ MORE: The best investment pieces for spring Cole Haan's new line of sleek white sneakers
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Photograph courtesy of Cole Haan Cole Haan displays some fancy footwork with its new line, Sporting, which favors sleek white perforated-leather sneakers with green trim over classic loafers. Other models utilize Nike Air's Flywire technology, a weblike construction that dramatically reduces weight. Tennis, duffel, and golf bags in eco-friendly materials fill out the collection. Katie Hintz READ MORE: The best suede shoes for spring Why you should say no to squared-toe shoes
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