Everyday Halloween

Your R&R outfit just may be in your second drawer.

It's true: We've had a hard-enough time differentiating Capitol Hill from Halloween for years. Lately, however, bands have been bringing the holiday to the everyday in record numbers. It used to be that folks mocked the likes of Insane Clown Posse or Slipknot for their face paint and masks. But today you can't turn around without seeing a mask on an album cover (The Head and the Heart), onstage (Fences, Deadmau5), or in promo photos (Wow & Flutter, Fergus & Geronimo, and so on—and on and on).

So as we approach Halloween—and you're naturally behind on this year's costume—here's a quick look at a few last-minute options you have if you want to look like your favorite band (that doesn't need masks to rock their look), or are desperately in search of a band whose look is already your everyday costume. CHRIS KORNELIS

THE LOOK: Jailbird Lil' Wayne

On the outside, Wayne was usually clad in the usual hip-hop gear of baggy jeans, wife-beaters, grills, and lots of bling. His wardrobe inside his current home at Rikers Island is a little simpler.

The Essential Costume Elements:

1. Orange prison jumpsuit. Maybe also throw a ball and chain on your ankle, just for fun!

2. Dreadlocks, or a dreadlocked wig.

3. Face tattoos—use a Sharpie, or if you're really dedicated, get some real ones! Teardrops under your eyes or a cross on your forehead would be most authentic.

4. Headphones (Wayne is currently in solitary confinement after being caught with a contraband set of headphones and an iPod charger, stashed in a bag of potato chips).

5. A bottle of cough syrup. Someone's gotta be sneaking him that shit.

BTW: Weezy's almost free. After spending the bulk of 2010 in prison, the man is expected to walk free on November 4. You can honor Weezy's completed jail sentence by dressing up as him this Halloween!

Extras: Orange not your color? Here's another solution: Get the dreadlocks, the tattoos, throw on a sweatshirt, a beanie, and a pair of handcuffs, and get a couple friends to dress up like policemen and rock the "Wayne getting busted" look.

THE LOOK: Dan Auerbach & Pat Carney of the Black Keys

Perhaps you, as I did, got your life rocked at the Black Keys' show at the Paramount a couple weekends ago? Wardrobe-wise, the Black Keys don't look any different from your average Seattle male—plaid shirts, skinny jeans. But there are some key characteristics you can nail.

The Essential Costume Elements:

1. For one of you, an unkempt beard and shoulder-length hair, and perhaps a sweet-looking Gibson Firebird, if you feel like toting that around.

2. For the other, shaggier hair, plus Buddy Holly glasses and drumsticks.

3. For both of you, standard rock-and-roll attire—denim, hoodies, plaid, whatever—and a must-have badass rock-star aura.

BTW: This idea's the simplest yet. Right now on the Black Keys' official website, you can purchase, for $20, The Black Keys Dress-Up Kit. The Kit contains one false beard and one pair of glasses—they're meant to be separate items for two people. One of you gets to be Auerbach (beard) and one of you gets to be Carney (glasses). As the Black Keys' website helpfully describes, "This dress-up kit includes one pair of glasses kinda like Pat's and one false beard vaguely suggestive of Dan's real one."

Extras: Get a dinosaur puppet to carry with you, like Frank, the T. Rex who memorably appears in the Black Keys' "Tighten Up" video.

THE LOOK: Janelle Monae's Mohawk and Tuxedo

Janelle Monáe is deservedly the hottest thing in R&B right now—her albums, 2007's Metropolis and this year's The ArchAndroid, are soulful perfection, and she also happens to be as cute as a button. She even has a signature style.

The Essential Costume Elements:

1. The mohawk: Janelle's cutting-edge coif is usually styled in a straight mohawk—extra-poofy in the front. Use lots of gel and spray or whatever it takes for your 'hawk to stand up throughout the night.

2. The tuxedo: Janelle is frequently seen in a very chic, ladylike tuxedo. You can get creative with it; just make sure it's a combination of black and white, that it's slim and fitted, and that a floppy bow tie is included.

BTW: Need more inspiration? Watch Janelle's funky-fresh "Tightrope" video, in which she dances up a frenzy clad in a classic black tux. Or, even better, go see her live at the Paramount this Wednesday, October 27.

Extras: Get an entourage going. Your tagalongs can dress as some of Janelle's celebrity friends—a pimp-suited Big Boi with fur accessories, or a colorful, face-painted Kevin Barnes from of Montreal.

ethompson@seattleweekly.com

 
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