"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
An iPhone app released by Pepsi attracted harsh criticism a few months ago for a premise so blatantly sexist that it was eventually yanked from the store. But “Amp Up Before You Score,” which doled out pickup lines pegged to 24 female stereotypes, is but a twinkling star in the galaxy of offensive apps that have snuck past Apple’s notoriously stringent store guidelines. Without further ado, I present to you the five most sexist apps of the year.
PMSTracker: Unlike apps designed to help women keep track of their own menstrual cycle, this one is meant specifically for men. It “allows you to quickly track the approximate time each woman in your life has PMS” using a color-coded method that functions much like the U.S. government’s terror alert system — only it’s red alert, severe chance of PMS attack!
Shake That Booty: This app allows you to manipulate an image of a woman’s butt — or, as the official app description calls it, “BOOTY!” — by physically shaking your phone. Of course, this jiggle fest is presented as something that she desperately wants so players don’t have to feel guilty. Look at that: Everyone wins!
Pole Dancing: “Get these hot girls to spin around a stripper pole by shaking your iPhone/iPod touch from side to side! Even better, clap, yell, make some noise and they will spin around at your command.” Control her without even forming complete sentences — just a few claps or grunts will do!
Michelle: She’s your brand “new virtual girlfriend” and “can be who you want her to be.” You can take Michelle “to the beach or pool and choose which bikini or bathing suit she should wear.” Guess this one’s for the guys whose parents never let them play with dolls.
iControl Her: Here’s another riff on the apparent desire of many app developers to have complete power over virtual women. iControl Her is an actual remote that appears on the iPhone screen, with such clever buttons as “Stop Whining,” “Clean” and “Give Me Beer.” Here’s an idea: Develop a remote for women with a button that reads, “Delete that app and stop being such a jerk.”
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)