People with extra post-holiday cash and a healthy pop culture appetite may want to seek out "Paper" magazine's recently released pop culture encyclopedia."From Ab Fab To Zen, Paper's Guide To Pop Culture" reaches deep into the world of music in compiling its look at all that goes pop. Madonna, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, O.D.B., Tupac, Courtney Love, and numerous others see their careers neatly summarized in the tome alongside entries for such cultural forces as the Teletubbies, Viagra, Versace, Xena, Andre The Giant, and Zima. As with all things "Paper," "From Ab Fab…" has a heavy downtown chic flavor. In its pages, Bjork is described as a "genetically predisposed fashion plate," U2 are "bellied, moneyed pop avant-guardians," and Li'l Kim "is one of a new breed of rap superstars who like it dirty and designer all the way." Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy get similar treatments, but the tome isn't exactly a complete resource. You won't
find current pop icons like Jerry Seinfeld and Ricky Martin, but hey, they've got Roshumba.The book's journey to the left of the mainstream features plenty of photos from the "Paper" magazine library. "From Ab Fab To Zen" is on stores now.
-- Robert Mancini