Nick Monaco Dismantles Dance Music’s Heteronormativity One Lipstick At A Time

Photo by Adam Kargenian

“I’m still myself when I wear lipstick, and I think that fucks with people’s heads”

Nightlife is dead.

Well, it's not dead dead as much as it's just reborn. It's taken on a new form, a new vibe, and accessibility. The glory days of New York City megaclubs—like Twilo, Palladium, The Tunnel, and Limelight—are gone, and in their place are smaller venues with tighter lists and a scene more concerned with staging an Instagram post than dancing. A club like Berlin's infamous Berghain, which has a strict no photos policy, would never work in a city like New York or Los Angeles, because how else will the world know so-and-so was where they said they were if they weren't allowed to capture a few moments on digital celluloid?

Before this becomes some wistful piece ragging on social media's bastardization of nightlife, let's focus on someone who's keeping that OG club vibe alive—someone who, through his sets, honors dance music's pioneers without sounding like a nostalgia act. Hell, he does them honors through the creation of his entire persona.

We're talking about Nick Monaco, the San Francisco-based DJ and producer who, over the past couple of years, has become a force for positive change within the dance community. He's fluent in disco history, which adds a layer of timelessness to his work. Though he identifies as straight, he's intensely aware that the music dominating today's clubs and festivals is rooted within the queer communities across the globe and makes it his point to keep that history alive. "There's been a sort of historical exclusion," he says of the dance scene. "This modern-day club state is more masculine than it was then. I like the more feminine touch."

Indeed, an obscene percentage of festival and DJ set audiences rock gym shorts and muscle tank tops. Flamboyance has been traded in for uniformity. So Monaco wears lipstick on stage; he rocks jumpsuits, he plays with fashion—just like his icons did. Whether he's playing his own show or on a lineup of massive artists, like Dirtybird Campout, he actively avoids creating a monochromatic experience for his audience because nightlife and dance music is rooted in color. Turns out, this approach works. "People open up in a different way when I perform," he observes. "Wearing lipstick confidently rather than ironically inspires something different in people. Now I'm passing out lipstick at shows and seeing a dozen dudes smiling—wearing lipstick, too." 

Through his performances, Monaco gets people out of their phone bubble and into the mix. He takes people on a journey that uplifts and encourages peer-to-peer dance floor camaraderie, a journey that takes people away from the distractions outside of a venue. That journey includes creating a vibe that encourages bold self-expression and creativity, the kind that waves its freak flag with pride. "Back in the day, we didn't have a forum to post pictures of ourselves in our outfits or whatever," he says. "If we were feeling sexy that day or extra glam, club spaces became the exhibition of the performative self where you could be as extra as you wanted. It was your moment." 

Now, instead of dressing up for yourself, people dress up for the 'Gram. It's sanitary. The private, sanctuary-esque spaces, like clubs, are made public by Instagram. "The lines between public and private are completely blurred," he says, "so there's this feeling of paranoia when you're at a venue that your picture is being taken and posted somewhere you don't know; you can never really let go, you know?" Yes, but I also know (and believe) that it's possible to really let go and let the DJ guide you like "the good old days." With Nick Monaco on the decks, it definitely is. As he says, "I guess we're just figuring this out together."

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.