Friday, October 16, 2009

Beard Interview: Michael from Beard Revue

Most of the content of my beard blog comes from other beard blogs and Beard Team USA news, save for my beard progress photos. I'd like to welcome the newest member of the beard blog community, The Beard Coach. The Beard Coach recently interviewed the founder of my favorite beard blog, Beard Revue. I actually discovered The Beard Coach through Beard Revue. I like Beard Revue's perspective on all things beard. The interview is reposted below.

Beard Interview: Michael from Beard Revue: "

The next installment in my series of interviews with other Internet-using beard-loving people is with Michael from the popular site Beard Revue. His site is just bristling with beard goodness. First Thursday Beard Art is a highlight as well as some quite indisputable beard ratings.

The Beard Coach: What was your inspiration for diving into the world of beard blogging?

Michael: Beard Revue is the result of a convergence of three main interests: my unflagging admiration for beards, snobby indie hipster music and social media. My unflagging admiration for beards is self-explanatory.

The hipster music bit comes from my love of the assumed authority with which Pitchfork approaches its reporting and album reviews. Pitchfork is often divisive—a lot of folks hate their reviews. But I think they’re witty, and often way to serious about themselves for me not to laugh. (They recently rated every Beatle album on their arbitrary 0.0–10.0 scale. Was that necessary? No. Was it informative, amusing and incredibly pretentious? Yes.) And my interests in social media stems from my friend Joshua’s challenge to maintain a blog longer than three months. I did, and now it’s popular.

TBC: From what I can tell, Beard Revue is a pretty darn popular beard site. What kind of traffic are you getting?

Michael: Find out for yourself at (Editor’s note: Beard Revue has an Alexa rank of 735,874 as of today.)

TBC: Has Beard Revue panned out the way you had planned it? Or has the road taken some unforeseen twists?

Michael: No. It’s become more popular than I initially thought and the format has changed as my interests and goals have changed. In fact, I’ve recently partnered with a crack team of developers to see how Beard Revue can accommodate more user generated content. I can’t really say more than that, though.

TBC: Your beard poster is fantastic! Any other handcrafted beard art lying around the house?

Michael: Thanks! Probably the most rewarding thing from Beard Revue is the community of artists to whom I’ve been exposed. I love all the little things that beards and moustaches inspire (thus, First Thursday Beard Art). I love that tattoo trend—the one where you get a ’stache tat on the side of your index finger and hold it up over your lip. Sometimes it’s just some one with a Sharpie and not a tattoo. It’s benign and it makes me smile every time I see a photo of one.

And so then there’s everything else. I’m a print designer by trade. So I have beard posters, prints and even Jack Passion’s first book in my collection of all things beardy. And the library affords me the opportunity to bone up on some beardage from time to time. Who knew there was so much beardstuff out there?

TBC: What is your take on the state of the beard today?

Michael: Save for the Victorian era, same as it’s always been. The beard is for the fringes of society. The artists, intellectuals, vagrants and anyone who’s willing to wear the badge of being different. Recession and playoff beards are fleeting moments of solidarity, but don’t really mean much in the grand scheme of things.

TBC: Name your 3 favorite bearded people.

Michael: Abbey Road and All Things Must Pass era George Harrison takes the cake. I just saw Kyp Malone last week, so I’ll say him. And my father, of course.

TBC: Name the top 3 people you wish had a beard.

Michael: James Beard (that guy totally wasted his name). I’d love to see Barack Obama don a beard like Malone’s. And anyone I’ve ever met who said they would grow a beard but just weren’t capable of growing one.

TBC: Why do you think people enjoy beards?

Michael: They serve such a wide range of functions for the wearer and the viewer, it’d be difficult to pinpoint one thing. That little bit of rugged panache can go a long way. I like that they’re natural. Since they’re both manifestations of our mature states, this might be an apt analogy:

Beard : Naked Face :: Natural Breasts : Implants

TBC: Please briefly tell your favorite beard-related story.

Michael: People do some funny things for facial hair. I had a wicked awesome handlebar moustache for Moustache May which garnered a lot of attention. Some one photographed me for their scavenger hunt, a gentleman almost got hit by a car crossing the street just to say “hi, nice moustache” and BT Livermore gave me a complementary tin of Man’s Face Stuff moustache wax. My favorite compliment was when a sweet young lass called me a walking sex toy.

TBC: Much of my site is devoted to beard-growing motivation. What is your best advice for guys who are currently growing a beard?

Michael: Have fun with it.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Jack Passion redux: The Facial Hair Handbook

Below is Beard Revue's review of the Facial Hair Handbook by Jack Passion. This is the book I left on a jumbo jet airliner to Albany, NY in early September. I hope Santa brings me another.

Jack Passion redux: The Facial Hair Handbook: "
Jack Passion is no stranger to Beard Revue. In fact, he lies somewhere between mascot and honorable diplomat of the world beard community, which is why it’s only too appropriate that he would one day serve as a docent into all things beardy.

The Facial Hair Handbook: Every Man’s Guide to Growing & Grooming Great Facial Hair, Passion’s first book, was released earlier this year.

The book is not about the history of facial hair nor its place in culture. Instead, Passion focuses on the context in which and how to wear facial hair. Simply stated in the introduction, “this book is for the man who is ready to look like one.”

The Facial Hair Handbook includes musings on the stumbling blocks of the metrosexual movement, instructions on how to get through the early stages of a baby beard and tips on which shampoos and conditioners to use. “In the throes of Passion, your hard work will pay off,” Passion advises.

Humorous gems are generously sprinkled throughout, like “sex is the rain dance of facial hair” and “every one of my beard hairs is an antenn to the bearded world.” A few Franklinesque aphorisms like “healthy man, healthy beard” and “if you’re going to wear it long, wear it strong” are also offered up from time to time, lending to the book’s incredibly endearing quality.

The Facial Hair Handbook is a perfect companion for both expert and novice pogonolgists. Whether you read it on a sunny afternoon in Walnut Creek or on a brisk day in Berlin, it is sure to make you smile. This book makes for a great, affordable gift for your favorite beardy.

So pick up a copy of The Facial Hair Handbook and then write to Jack Passion and tell him his book changed your life.

Take THAT Jack Passion! from sarah sporik

If you enjoy Beard Revue, please visit the site, post your comments and tell your friends. Thanks!