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  • Posted 7/23/17 at 1:40 PM

Brad Pitt and Frank Ocean’s Bromance Reaches New Levels With Concert Serenade

What should Brad Pitt and Frank Ocean’s friendship moniker be? Brank? We’ll think about it. Anyway, the duo decided to take their burgeoning friendship to new heights this weekend when Ocean brought his pal Pitt onstage during his FYF Festival set to just generally hang around and take some fake calls on his cellphone. It unfolded as such: As Ocean launched into a cover of “Close to You” by the Carpenters, Pitt walked onstage without any acknowledgement, where he remained talking on his cellphone for the entire song. (A projection screen made it easier to see.) You can try to make sense of it, but it’s better to just watch and enjoy.

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  • Posted 7/22/17 at 11:00 AM

On Lust for Life, Lana Del Rey Searches for Happiness in a Dark World

For five years, Lana Del Rey has made a mint mixing old Hollywood iconography and spurned love stories. Her music was dour and gauzy, glacial and bass-heavy, with a kiss of hip-hop flair. 2012’s Born to Die came from nowhere with a fully formed Natural Born Killers aesthetic that was perhaps too much too soon. It didn’t sound like anything on the radio. It felt time-displaced and familiar all at once, like discovering a heat-warped cassette tape of a singer-songwriter album from that part of the ’90s where trip-hop invaded pop. The response was divided, especially when early recordings under the singer’s birth name, Elizabeth Grant, came to light. Dialogue about the music quickly shifted to marketing and authenticity. It seemed as if we’d been sold a bill of goods.

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  • Posted 7/21/17 at 6:45 PM

Linkin Park Cancels Their Upcoming Tour Following the Death of Lead Singer Chester Bennington

In the wake of front man Chester Bennington’s suicide earlier this week, TMZ reports that a representative for the band confirmed that Linkin Park has scrapped their upcoming North American tour dates. The band had planned to tour this summer in support of their seventh and most recent album, One More Light, which was released on May 19, 2017. Linkin Park’s next concert would have taken place on Thursday, July 27 in Mansfield, Massachusetts. Live Nation tweeted that all ticket-holders will receive refunds.

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The ‘Kill Jay-Z’ Video Kills No Jay-Zs, But Does Feature a Lot of Cardio

Jay-Z’s latest Friday gift to the Tidal subscribers of the world is the music video for 4:44’s “Kill Jay Z.” The video intercuts black-and-white footage of a teenager running through a street wearing a “stay black” T-shirt with shots of a swimmer and a white flag. Thankfully, Jay’s line about Eric Benét plays over a black screen, which will hopefully mean Benét won’t bring it upon himself to tweet again.

  • Posted 7/21/17 at 4:25 PM

Lana Del Rey’s Lust for Life and 7 Other Albums to Listen to Now

Every week, Vulture gathers new albums you can listen to right now. We don’t have a problem admitting it: Keeping track of everything that’s released can be overwhelming, but finding out about interesting music doesn’t have to be work. Read our picks below, and share your thoughts in the comments.

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Kendrick Lamar Earns His Black Belt in Rap on the DAMN. Tour

Kendrick Lamar admittedly knows very little about kung fu, at least not the Chinese discipline most associated with martial arts. His relationship with kung fu likely stems from Wu-Tang Clan and the old ’70s and ’80s kung fu films that inspired their name and obsession with Shaolin. But Kendrick Lamar, who released his fourth album DAMN. in April, is an ardent rap fundamentalist who’s proven himself a student of any craft he touches. On his DAMN. tour, which made its first of two stops at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on Thursday night, he further explored the meaning behind his moniker: Kung Fu Kenny. With his video for “D.N.A.,” we learned that the name’s origins came from Don Cheadle’s character in Rush Hour 2. Kendrick’s tour also presents a film: The Damn Legend of Kung Fu Kenny (which Kendrick debuted at Coachella), which tells the story of Kendrick’s growth from a novice trained by a shifu to a scholar capable of channeling the energy of a master — the “glow,” as seen in the Last Dragon.

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  • Posted 7/21/17 at 12:14 PM
  • Music

Madame Tussauds Has Removed Its No Good, Very Bad Beyoncé Wax Figure

Beyoncé has (probably) left the building. After a photo of a wax figure that is allegedly Beyoncé attracted the ire of the internet, it seems that midtown Manhattan’s Madame Tussauds — that place you went on your sixth-grade school trip and have avoided ever since — has removed the human-like structure it tried to pass off as Bey. Per the New York Times: “As of Thursday afternoon, the statue was absent. But it still lives on on social media, where a photograph of the figure attracted criticism from far and wide this week.” Critics of the figure (and people with eyes) slammed the statue for having a skin complexion lighter than the singer’s own and resembling an entirely different person. See for yourself:

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The Most Lana Del Rey Things Lana Del Rey Says on Lust for Life

Today Lana Del Rey releases her fifth album, Lust for Life, transporting us all back to her trippy, nostalgic, motif-heavy universe conveniently located in the heart of Hollyweird. In honor of the occasion, we invite you to play along with the latest Lana Mad Libs: Peaches! Blood! Charles Manson! Corsets! Rosemary and thyme! Coachella! Lennon and Yoko! Presenting the most Lana Del Rey things Lana Del Rey says on Lust for Life, ranked from quintessential Lana to absolute Peak Lana.

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  • Posted 7/21/17 at 11:26 AM

30 Years After the Release of Appetite for Destruction, Guns N’ Roses Are Still an Unstoppable Live Band

To hear rock fans tell the story, Guns N’ Roses was a club to the head of hair metal, the knockout hit that served the whole of late-’80s hard rock up on a platter for the gutsy, punk-minded Seattle kids to stage a coup for control of the ship. Guns was scuzzier, grittier, and realer than its peers on the Strip: “Your daddy works in porno,” Axl Rose sings on “My Michelle,” “Now that mommy’s not around.” But in order to crown Guns N’ Roses the reality kings of West Coast hard rock you have to step over the grit of peers like Motley Crüe and Poison. If the tandem Crüe autobio The Dirt is to be believed, “Shout at the Devil” is tacitly about getting tangled up in a bad bout of drug-addled occult obsession. If that’s not every bit as dark as the stories of decay populating Guns’ landmark debut album Appetite for Destruction, well, what is?

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  • Posted 7/21/17 at 10:03 AM
  • Bans

Bad-Boy Justin Bieber Banned From Performing in China for ‘Bad Behavior’

China doesn’t like Justin Bieber, though to be fair, there are a lot of people China doesn’t like. Today, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture revealed that Bieber has been banned from performing in China thanks to his “bad behavior.” “Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign idol,” the bureau wrote in response to a fan who posted a question on its website asking whether Bieber was allowed to perform in China, as his upcoming Asia tour does not include any performances on the mainland. “His inappropriate manner has caused public discontent,” the bureau wrote, declining to name specific instances, though there are plenty of available options, including the time Bieber caused a kerfuffle in the country in 2013 when he was carried up the Great Wall (or maybe Chinese authorities passionately believe Bieber should learn the Spanish lyrics to “Despacito”).

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  • Posted 7/21/17 at 9:41 AM

Lana Del Rey and Stevie Nicks Share ‘Beautiful Problems’

For as long as she’s been known, it’s been a given that Lana Del Rey has “features” in abundance, but not on her albums. If her persona has been the outcome of a carefully, even poetically arranged series of gestures and looks, maintaining that particular image has mandated that she only appear far from the distorting presence of other artists. She could at times lend her voice to others (to the Weeknd most recently and prominently), but it didn’t work the other way around: her neo-retro aesthetic didn’t harmonize with the sound and tone of the vast majority of contemporary artists’. Kanye and Nicki are decent fits for a Katy Perry album, and Ed Sheeran made for a plausible guest on Taylor Swift’s Red LP, but who was fit to pay a call to Lana? No one, apparently. As an artist busy shaping a distinctly different style of her own, over the course of three albums, she was too self-possessed to play with guests.

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  • Posted 7/20/17 at 5:24 PM

The Agony and Memory of Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington

Without Chester Bennington, the vocalist who hanged himself in Los Angeles today, Linkin Park would have been nothing. The other band members, with co-vocalist and producer Mike Shinoda at their head, were competent and creative without ever quite being distinctive. Though hardly immune to pain or grief, they had likely escaped any serious trauma — and even if they had suffered any trauma, there was no trace of it in the music they made. Bennington didn’t just add an extra voice to the band when he joined it, but a new sensibility. The sound of his singing and, even more, of his howls was charged with agony; his lyrics enacted an endless conflict that raged within the mind no less than against any outside power. Bennington was always too busy trying to communicate that struggle to his listeners to bother with being cool. Listen to any Linkin Park song in which he appears, particularly the early work that won them fame and a gigantic audience, and you can hear Bennington wrestling with pain. It wasn’t pretty and it was heavily processed for maximum pop saturation, but the pain, and the attempt to survive it, is palpably real.

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  • Posted 7/20/17 at 2:44 PM
  • Obits

Linkin Park Singer Chester Bennington Dead at 41

Chester Bennington, the lead singer of Linkin Park, has died at age 41, TMZ reports. Bennington hanged himself in an apparent suicide, law enforcement sources told TMZ, and his body was reportedly found in a home in Palos Verdes Estates in Los Angeles Thursday morning.

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  • Posted 7/20/17 at 9:57 AM
  • Covers

Nine Inch Nails Debut Unreleased David Bowie Cover They Made to Get ‘Closure’ After His Death

Last night, Nine Inch Nails played their first concert in three years, ahead of their new EP dropping this week. According to fans, it was a mix of old and newer songs, but the highlight was the revelation that shortly after David Bowie’s death, the band made a cover of one of his Blackstar songs, “I Can’t Give Everything Away,” but never released it. Trent Reznor, who was friends with Bowie and credited his idol with helping him get sober while Nine Inch Nails toured with him in the late ’90s, told the crowd that the band made their version as a way to “process” the news and get “some sort of closure.” The band then debuted their somber, piano-driven cover of Bowie’s song, which appears to mix Reznor’s vocals with Bowie’s at parts, for the first time. Grab several tissues. Here’s the original for comparison:

4 Best New Songs of the Week

Every week Vulture highlights the best new music. If the song is worthy of your ears and attention, you will find it here. Read our picks below, share yours in the comments, and subscribe to the Vulture Playlist for a comprehensive guide to the year’s best music.

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Radiohead Played Their Longest Set in Years at Their Controversial Israel Concert

If you haven’t heard, there’s been just a little bit of controversy over Radiohead closing out their tour this year in Tel Aviv, Israel — their first show in the country since 2000. The whole debacle really got going when Roger Waters and many more of the band’s peers signed a petition to get the band to cancel their show as part of a cultural boycott of Israel stemming from its treatment of Palestinians as part of the BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement. Singer and front man Thom Yorke then issued not one, but two statements addressing the debate, in which he was none too happy about the heat Radiohead was getting.

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  • Posted 7/19/17 at 5:16 PM

There Is a Secret Mixtape for Disneyland’s Space Mountain Roller Coaster

While organizing his personal archives, former Walt Disney imagineer Tom K. Morris stumbled upon a note scrawled on Mickey Mouse letterhead. The list, which reads like a bar’s ’80s-night playlist, catalogues the songs he used while attempting to bring synchronized audio onboard Space Mountain, Disneyland’s intergalactic indoor roller coaster, in 1985.

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  • Posted 7/19/17 at 4:54 PM
  • Music

Lana Del Rey is Cooling It with the Americana Imagery Now That Trump is in Office

Lana Del Rey’s next performance probably won’t feature her wrapped in an American flag or show one billowing in the wind. Since “Born to Die,” Americana has been an integral part of Lana Del Rey’s visuals, but Donald Trump’s election has made her rethink her aesthetic. “It’s certainly uncomfortable,” Lana told Pitchfork, when asked about the prospect of continuing to romanticize America now that Trump has taken office. “I definitely changed my visuals on my tour videos. I’m not going to have the American flag waving while I’m singing ‘Born to Die.’ It’s not going to happen. I’d rather have static. It’s a transitional period, and I’m super aware of that. I think it would be inappropriate to be in France with an American flag. It would feel weird to me now — it didn’t feel weird in 2013.”

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  • Posted 7/19/17 at 4:24 PM

Lana Del Rey’s Album Leaked Last Night, and She Wasn’t Happy

Album thirst is a fearsome malady in any case, but when the upcoming album is Lana Del Rey’s, the thirst is sure to be extreme. Her first three albums focus directly on desire — being the one desired, getting what you desired, and forgetting what you desired, respectively — and given that her fourth is titled Lust for Life, it seems likely that the streak will continue.

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R. Kelly Reportedly ‘Raised’ Woman in Alleged Sex Cult Since She Was ‘14 or 15’

After new allegations from a bombshell BuzzFeed report this week about R. Kelly’s sexual behavior, which accused the singer of running a “sex cult” that preys on women, one of his sexual partners has divulged disturbing new details about the operation. According to a woman described as a sometime member of Kelly’s entourage and identified only as “Kim” who spoke to Jezebel, Kelly has been with one of the women since she was “14 or 15.” “He was telling me that he ‘raised her.’ Those were his words,” she says. The woman confirms that Kelly has at least five or six women in his circle. She says all of the women are now above the age of consent and that when she met Kelly at one of his his concerts a year ago and subsequently had sex with him, he “paused their lovemaking long enough to ask her, ‘Baby girl, how old are you?’” (Kim is in her mid-20s, and learned the extent of the alleged cult through the BuzzFeed report.) A spokesperson for Kelly denies the claim that Kelly was ever involved with any women while they were underage, telling Jezebel, “This is a crew of adults here. There are no children. No underage anything. I’ve never witnessed it.”

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