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Jay-Z Releases Short Films for 4:44’s ‘Legacy,’ ‘Smile’ and ‘Marcy Me’

While you spent your Black Friday arm-wrestling over a VR headset in a Best Buy parking lot, Jay-Z was busy releasing three new visuals for the 4:44 songs “Legacy,” “Smile” and Marcy Me” on Tidal. In the “Legacy” video, Edi Gathegi, Jonathan Tucker, Emilie Hirsch, Jesse Williams and others navigate incarceration as the President’s Men, so called because their prison is controlled by, you got it, Mr. Carter. Portrayed by Ron Perlman, Mr. Carter seeks to cement his legacy in the minds of the innocent men imprisoned alongside him, as well as in the mind of the warden, played by one Ms. Susan Sarandon. What form that legacy takes, well, you’ll have to watch and find out.

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  • Posted 11/24/17 at 10:00 AM

The Many Deadly Layers of Björk’s Utopia

Björk is one of our premier hyperrealists. Her music and videos induce a striking sense of otherworldliness through elaborate, unfamiliar biology and suspended or distended time. She stretches tempos like taffy and recasts familiar sounds like drum hits and human voices into unsettling new shapes through inventive approaches to melody and programming. Listening very intently to her music can feel like diving deeply into physics. You’re discovering new shapes and designs inside of the normal shapes and designs you’ve grown accustomed to since childhood, cataloguing all of the strange magic hiding in plain sight.

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Noel Gallagher on His New Album, Liam’s New Album, and the Difference Between Songwriting and ‘Musical Shopping’

Former Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher will release a new solo album this Friday, and you might assume you know what it sounds like. You’d probably be wrong, though, at least a little. Who Built the Moon?, Gallagher’s third and most ambitious record with his band the High Flying Birds, was written in the studio with producer David Holmes, who adds electronics, orchestral accents, and references to influences as far-flung as E.L.O. and Serge Gainsbourg; the whole thing sounds more like Noel’s 1999 team-up with the Chemical Brothers than anything he made with Oasis. Gallagher and I met last week at the bar in New York’s Four Seasons hotel to discuss the album, his brother Liam’s recent album, and why he’s still no fan of Radiohead.

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Learn How to Carve a Turkey by Watching Post Malone Carve Up Tons of People in His ‘Rockstar’ Video

Okay, don’t actually carve a turkey the way Post Malone carves up people in his “Rockstar” video. Your turkey, if you bought it frozen from the grocery store and not, like, from a kill-your-own-poultry farm, will hopefully be a lot less bloody. You also probably shouldn’t slice it with a sword, unless that’s your Thanksgiving party trick. Post Malone, though, he’s an assassin. And his weapon of choice is full samurai execution, as his and 21 Savage’s new video, a gory homage to 1973’s Lady Snowblood, goes to great pains to demonstrate. Is it all a metaphor for the killing he’s made on the charts — “Rockstar” has now sat at No. 1 on the Hot 100 for six weeks (after some initial trickery). Or maybe this is just what Thanksgiving dinner at the Post household looks like? Either way, best to save this one for after you’ve eaten.

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter Accused of Rape

Melissa Schuman, a member of the 2000s-era girl group Dream, has claimed in a detailed post on her blog that former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter raped her in 2002. Schuman says Carter invited her and a friend to his Santa Monica apartment; according to Schuman, the group hung out and had drinks, when she and Carter went into the bathroom and started kissing. “He then pick[ed] me up, put me on the bathroom counter and started to unbutton my pants. I told him I didn’t want to go any further,” Schuman writes. But she says that Carter continued to pressure her, and demanded oral sex. “He was visually and clearly growing very angry and impatient with me. I couldn’t leave. It was evident to me, that I couldn’t leave. He was stronger and much bigger than me, and there was no way I would be able to open that door or have anyone help me,” Schuman writes.

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  • Posted 11/22/17 at 8:47 AM

The 21 Most Barbra Streisand Moments in Her Netflix Concert Film

If you’re at all familiar with Barbra Streisand, you know exactly what to expect from her Netflix concert film, Barbra: The Music …The Mem’ries …The Magic!, which debuts November 22. Seemingly built for the express purpose of pleasing parents whose kids teach them how to use Netflix over Thanksgiving, the special is Barbra at her most idiosyncratic. She sings! She sways! She talks about Funny Girl! She orders crab! In honor of one of America’s most image-obsessed diva’s debut on streaming, we present a round-up of the movie’s Barbra-iest Barbra moments.

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  • Posted 11/21/17 at 2:00 PM

How a British Post-Punk Group Influenced Entire Generations of Rock Bands

Still riding the wave of Nirvana-mania that grunge-ified all facets of pop culture in the early ’90s, Nirvana’s label DGC compiled Incesticide, full of rare singles, B-sides, demos, and other ephemera from the band. At first, Kurt Cobain resisted the blatant stopgap cash-in move, only agreeing to it when he was given complete artistic control over the album’s cover art (which he painted) and the liner notes (which he penned). But those hoping for insight into the writing process behind songs such as the cock-rock mash-up of “Aero Zeppelin” and the juvenile cunnilingus ode “Mexican Seafood” were instead regaled with a story about Cobain’s trip to London and his frantic search for the self-titled first album by British punk band the Raincoats, originally released in 1979 and long out of print. His quest for an album he described as “wonderfully classic scripture” led him to Raincoats’ singer Ana da Silva, since retired from music and working at an antique shop that Cobain described as “elfin.” A used copy was scrounged up and mailed off to Cobain, whose joy was sovereign, as he wrote in the notes: “It made me happier than playing in front of thousands of people each night, rock-god idolization from fans, music industry plankton kissing my ass, and the million dollars I made last year. It was one of the few really important things that I’ve been blessed with since becoming an untouchable boy genius.”

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  • Posted 11/21/17 at 11:47 AM

Armand Hammer’s Rome Is a Gritty Rap Album for the Modern Era

At the time of this writing, Harare, Zimbabwe, is in limbo. There are those who expected the 93-year-old Robert Mugabe would step down in a speech he made on Sunday, and there are those who know the general arc of these things. The power struggle playing out in Zimbabwe is like so many others: brutal and opaque and a little bit clumsy, with moments of massive upheaval punctuating long stretches of mundanity. Tanks roll in unannounced and then they sort of sit there. A speech from a major general from the National Army named Sibusiso Moyo plays on loop on television, This is not a coup. By the time this story is published, Mugabe will have resigned, finally. The options for moving forward are morally gray and the machinations grind slower and slower.

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We Need a Feature-Length Version of Pink’s ‘Beautiful Trauma’ Video Which Features a Twirling Channing Tatum

We’re not saying the visuals for Pink’s “Beautiful Trauma” is the music-video equivalent of La La Land, but we’re not not saying that, you know? The less you know going into this the better: It features the songstress as a dutiful housewife with Channing Tatum as her husband, and let’s just say they’re both experiencing different kinds of ennui in their pastel Barbie dream house. Ennui that can be only solved through beautifully choreographed dance movies … and pills! If only this was four hours longer.

Report: Mariah Carey to Be Managed by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in Potential Christmas Miracle

She wanna sign with Jay. The Post reports that Mariah Carey hopes to be under new management by Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in an effort to get her career back on track. She recently fired her manager of three years, Stella Bulochniko, who lured Mariah into reality TV and other non-music endeavors, and is said to be going in a different direction. “[Mariah’s] cleaning house. She is getting legitimate people, assistants, a lawyer, and Stella is not happy about it,” a source tells the Post. Earlier this year, Mariah re-upped her deal with Epic, the label L.A. Reid brought her back home to in 2015, years before his controversial exit from Sony. A new album was promised under the new terms of that extension, but it has yet to materialize. Meanwhile, Mariah has bided her time by giving legendary interviews.

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  • Posted 11/20/17 at 4:47 PM

Watch Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Debut Paula’s Ode to Her Sexual Awakening, ‘Very First Penis I Saw,’ at Vulture Festival L.A.

The CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend premiered a new song, “Very First Penis I Saw,” on Sunday at Vulture Festival L.A., after sharing the backstories of the show’s other memorable songs. Not only has it not aired yet, but Donna Lynne Champlin, who plays Paula Proctor, seemed nervous before the clip aired. “I’m seeing it for the first time with you guys,” she told fans at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. It’s about her first boyfriend, whom she spots in a grocery store, and well, as Paula says, “He was my first … everything.” The produce props and choreography do not disappoint. Watch a snippet of the new song followed by the cast bowing down to Champlin, above.

Stop Trying to Make Pink Versus Christina Aguilera Happen (Again)

Pink and Christina Aguilera do not have beef. Pink and Christina Aguilera had beef. Past tense. In the former. But here on the present-day internet, their feud lives on. At last night’s AMAs, Christina performed a tribute to Whitney Houston for the 25th anniversary of The Bodyguard. There were high notes, melismas, expressive hands, and many reaction shots from one-time rival Pink. Some read Pink’s face following Christina’s take on that note in “I Will Always Love You” (you know the one) as nothing but cringe, Chrissy Teigen style. The look you make when the person standing directly in front of you in a congested room farts. The internet agreed: This was shade. Side-eye. Shots fired. But what if it wasn’t?

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  • Posted 11/20/17 at 11:40 AM

Sharon Jones: Soul of a Woman

Reels of tape are constantly crossing the graffitied threshold of the House of Soul, a Bushwick rowhouse that has been home to Daptone Records’ studio since 2003. Daptone’s co-owner, producer, and bandleader of the Dap-Kings, Gabriel Roth, has his own studio close to his home in Riverside, California. His trips back to Brooklyn are frequent, as are his carry-on-inspired conversations at JFK and LAX. “The TSA guys never quite understand what I’m carrying. They always think it’s movie film or something,” he says. “We’re always splicing songs from one reel to another and putting them on a plane.”

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Diana Ross Honored With an AMA Lifetime Achievement Award and a Fanny Pack

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Pink Proves She’s the AMAs MVP By Performing On the Side of a Building

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Pink and Kelly Clarkson Kicked Off the AMAs With an Emotional ‘Everybody Hurts’ Duet

If 2017 hasn’t gotten you into an emotional state already, Pink and Kelly Clarkson are here to bring out those tissues with their duet of “Everybody Hurts.” The duo opened Sunday night’s American Music Awards with the R.E.M. cover as a tribute to those affected by recent tragedies. It was the first time the two powerhouse vocalists ever performed together. Jamie Foxx introduced the number with several first responders behind him on the stage. “This year, more than perhaps any other in recent history, we needed the power of music to help us escape the news of the day,” Foxx said. “We needed that power of music to help us heal from hurricanes, wild fires, hate, hatred-fueled violence: 2017 is the year that tested our faith. At these moments of crises, heroes emerge.” After thanking the first responders he added, “As this year comes to a close we look forward to 2018 with hope. For, even as we mourn those who were lost, we know this: Together our strength will pull us through. Together we shall overcome the pain. Together we can unite as a people and as a nation.”

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David Cassidy Is Reportedly Hospitalized and in ‘Critical Condition’

Former Partridge Family star David Cassidy is reportedly clinging to the last moments of his life in a Florida hospital. Per TMZ, Cassidy’s condition is currently listed as “critical” as he suffers from organ and kidney failure, and “unless he gets a liver transplant soon he could soon die.” He’s also been in and out of a consciousness from an induced coma since earlier this week, with his family and friends beginning to arrive at the hospital to pay their final respects. Earlier this year, the 66-year-old Cassidy revealed he’d been battling dementia for many years, which prompted him to stop performing live. “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he said at the time. “I want to focus on what I am, who I am, and how I’ve been without any distractions. I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”

  • Posted 11/18/17 at 2:16 PM

Morrissey Thinks People Should Stop Unfairly Attacking Kevin Spacey

Since late October, Kevin Spacey has been accused of varying degrees of sexual assault and harassment by over a dozen people, which has caused severe damage to his decades-long professional career. Morrissey, however, just doesn’t see what the big deal about this whole situation is. In a new interview with the German publication Spiegel Online, the musician called all of the claims against Spacey “ridiculous,” arguing that the definitions of sexual assault and harassment have become far too broad to comprehend in the modern age. “As far as I know, he was in a bedroom with a 14-year-old. Kevin Spacey was 26, boy 14. One wonders where the boy’s parents were. One wonders if the boy did not know what would happen,” he said, according to a translation picked up by The AV Club. “I do not know about you, but in my youth I have never been in situations like this. Never. I was always aware of what could happen. When you are in somebody’s bedroom, you have to be aware of where that can lead to. That’s why it does not sound very credible to me. It seems to me that Spacey has been attacked unnecessarily.”

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  • Posted 11/18/17 at 12:31 PM
  • Obits

Malcolm Young, AC/DC Co-Founder and Guitar Savant, Dead at 64

Malcolm Young, who co-founded the legendary hard-rock band AC/DC alongside his brother, Angus, and is generally regarded as one of the greatest guitarists to ever walk this planet, has died at the age of 64 following a multiyear battle with dementia. “Today it is with deep heartfelt sadness that AC/DC has to announce the passing of Malcolm Young,” the band’s social-media accounts wrote in a statement. “With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band. As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted. He took great pride in all that he endeavored. His loyalty to the fans was unsurpassed.” Angus separately added: “As his brother it is hard to express in words what he has meant to me during my life, the bond we had was unique and very special. He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever. Malcolm, job well done.” Condolences have been pouring in from the music community since Saturday, showing the breadth of Young’s influence.

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