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Catching Up With Jane Birkin Before She Takes Carnegie Hall

Jane Birkin didn’t much like the terribly sophisticated Serge Gainsbourg, 18 years older than she and already a famous singer, when she met him after being cast in the French film Slogan in 1968 — she found him arrogant and snobbish. Or perhaps more to the point, she was convinced that he didn’t think much of her, a 21-year-old English actress who’d blown up after appearing, full frontal, in Antonioni’s Blow-Up, which was quite scandalous at the time. But she fell for him when they went out dancing, she’s always said. He kept stepping on her toes.

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  • Posted 1/20/18 at 12:04 AM

Drake Drops Two New Songs ‘God’s Plan’ and ‘Diplomatic Immunity’

The government may be about to shut down, but Drake is dedicated to keeping you up all night. If you hated that segue, hopefully you’ll like the rapper’s two brand-new singles, released at midnight on Friday, a whole lot better. Entitled “God’s Plan” and “Diplomatic Immunity,” Drake’s latest are now both available on whatever streaming platform is closest to your heart.

  • Posted 1/19/18 at 2:33 PM

The Lack of Feeling of Justin Timberlake’s ‘Supplies’ Is Kind of Awe-Inspiring

To be fair, there may be words in the English language less arousing than supplies. But Justin Timberlake didn’t name his latest single “Pliers,” or “401(k),” or “Arbitration,” or “Chernobyl,” or “Larry King Live.” He named it “Supplies.” The beat, crafted by the Neptunes, might have been sinuous, or at least slinky, had it been paired with vocals and lyrics that made an effort to summon emotion, any emotion — even disgust might have served in a pinch. But Timberlake’s lover-man tone is subdued without being subtle, his images so tepid they barely qualify as images. The right music video might have imbued “Supplies” with some semblance of aesthetic value, and to his credit Dave Meyers’s visual production can be striking. But thematically, it’s not just shapeless but hopelessly trite, splicing together a bunch of warmed-over dystopian and postapocalyptic tropes.

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  • Posted 1/19/18 at 1:10 PM

Starcrawler Wants to Freak You Out

On a mid-December day in Los Angeles, the members of Starcrawler sat in front of a Silver Lake restaurant nursing iced coffees and picking at a plate of soupy macaroni and cheese. A few days earlier they’d returned to L.A. from the Southwest to play the last show of a two and a half week American tour. With a self-titled debut album set for release this week through Rough Trade Records, most of their lives for the first months of 2018 will be booked solid, so they were enjoying a brief winter break. Drummer Austin Smith planned on drinking lots of smoothies and getting healthy. Lead singer Arrow de Wilde had been practicing for her driving test, when she wasn’t in bed playing Candy Crush like it was still 2012.

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  • Posted 1/18/18 at 4:04 PM

Turns Out Tom Hardy Is Not a Terrible Rapper

It’s no secret that Tom Hardy spent a not-insignificant amount of time rapping as a teenager. It is also no secret that his rap career didn’t pan out, as Hardy has instead chosen to spend his time playing handsome men whose faces are often obscured. Now, we can finally hear a loose collection of his tracks with the compilation Falling on Your Arse in 1999. Capably produced by writer-director Edward Tracy (who seems to have spent a lot of time with the Wu-Tang Clan back catalogue), Hardy’s attempt at rapping is … pretty good, actually.

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Justin Timberlake Would Like You to Know He’s a Generous Lover

I’ll be honest, at first I didn’t understand what Justin Timberlake’s new video for his song “Supplies” was all about, but now I see it’s about making sure women climax first, no matter what.

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Offset Attempted to Clarify a Homophobic Lyric With the Google Definition of ‘Queer’

Migos’ Offset has responded to the backlash over a homophobic lyric both in a series of since-deleted Instagram stories and a follow-up statement. On a new song from YFN Lucci called “Boss Life,” Offset raps “I cannot vibe with queers.” Artists like MNEK have called out the irony, noting Offset’s presence in the fashion world and Migos’ breakthrough hit “Versace.” “Offset saying he doesn’t vibe with queers while constantly wearing and PARADING clothes by gay designers is the REAL gag,” he tweeted. “He’s clowning himself???? was gianni versace not gay ? this one you’re screaming versace versace versace, are you not vibing ? lololol.” MNEK added, “All i’m saying is if you’re a homophobe say it with your chest.” Others pointed out that Offset’s fiancée Cardi B has identified as bisexual and that her sister is gay.

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  • Posted 1/18/18 at 10:48 AM

Grammys to Reunite Performers From the Las Vegas Shooting Festival for a Tribute

The Grammys have announced that this year’s ceremony will include a special memorial for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. They’ll reunite three artists from the Route 91 Harvest Festival where the shooting occurred — Eric Church, Maren Morris, and Brothers Osborne — to perform the tribute. “Live music events have always provided a safe space for fans to gather in a shared celebration of music. Sadly, that wasn’t always the case this past year,” Recording Academy president Neil Portnow said in a statement. Jason Aldean, who was onstage when a sniper began shooting into the crowd, killing 59 people, has not been announced as one of the performers. Previously announced performers for the show include Kendrick Lamar, Pink, Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Lady Gaga, SZA, Childish Gambino, Broadway stars, and more.

10 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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  • Posted 1/17/18 at 4:35 PM

The One Truly Great Song (So Far) From the Trump Era

“Being an optimist there is this part of me — especially having studied Weimar Germany extensively — I’m like, ‘This is our moment.’ Donald Trump is going to make punk rock great again. We’re all going to crawl down staircases into basements and speakeasies and make amazing satirically political art.” — Amanda Palmer, of the Dresden Dolls, speaking a month after Trump’s election.

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  • Posted 1/17/18 at 2:59 PM

Troye Sivan’s ‘My My My’ Is Groundbreaking in a New Way

There have been gay pop stars before, obviously. But obviousness is often in the eye of the beholder. It was entirely possible for a mainstream audience to hear and see the Village People and think that they were nothing more than a bunch of fun-loving men extolling the benefits of naval service and the Young Men’s Christian Association. For most of his career, George Michael played it straight for the adoring crowd; Michael Jackson never came out at all. Elton John was openly gay, but as a pianist, he had to perform sitting down; sedentary and docile, the posture made him safe for popular consumption and acceptance even in an era when homophobic culture warriors ran rampant.

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Justin Timberlake Says He and Janet Jackson Made Peace About Nipplegate

Though it’s been more than a decade since Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s breast on live national television during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, the world hasn’t forgotten just how little he’s ever said about it. Following the incident, Janet was forced to give a video statement and accepted blame, while Timberlake issued his own statement calling the incident “regrettable” and moved on with his reputation still intact while hers suffered. With Timberlake set to return to the halftime stage next month, he is now addressing Nipplegate in a new interview with Zane Lowe. “I stumbled through it, to be quite honest. I had my wires crossed and it’s just something that you have to look back on and go like, ‘Okay, well you know, you can’t change what’s happened but you can move forward and learn from it,’” he says, noting that it wouldn’t happen again.

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Cardi B, a Boss, Just Broke Another Chart Record

Cardi B spent last year shattering cultural ceilings, making history, and giving new meaning to overnight success. It’s now 2018 and still the central question of her breakout hit “Bodak Yellow” remains unchallenged: “What bitch working as hard as me?” Cardi has started her year by becoming the first woman in Billboard history to have three songs charting in the Top 10 simultaneously for three consecutive weeks. This, after she already made history last year as the first female rapper since Lauryn Hill to have a No. 1 solo hit. Perhaps most impressive about her latest feat, though, is the way she’s managed to finesse it.

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  • Posted 1/16/18 at 4:21 PM
  • Obits

Remembering the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan

The biggest and most widely accepted lie about ’90s teen culture is that everyone was disaffected, aloof, and cool. We were nothing of the sort. We were dreamers and bleeding hearts whose world was changing perhaps much faster than the generation before — digitizing at a rate we couldn’t understand — who dared to lurch forward and grab a measure of control of culture. Much of the art from that era doesn’t play well with the trademark ironic detachment of this one, even in a protracted ’90s nostalgia cycle that has revived sitcoms like Full House and Mad About You and reunited bands like Belly and Jawbreaker. A lot of totemic ’90s pop culture — see: loutish, feel-good stuff like Hootie and the Blowfish or Home Improvement and darkly philosophical work like NYPD Blue or Live’s Throwing Copper — exists as arcana in a modern landscape. The morality is too fussy and dated, and the intentions are too obvious and specific to enjoy the lasting cool of a band like Nirvana, whose searching intellectualism and inscrutable poetry saved it from the schmaltz that makes people hate Pearl Jam and the unbridled kookiness that lands Billy Corgan cat magazine covers, wrestling partnerships, and Infowars episodes.

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  • Posted 1/16/18 at 3:40 PM
  • Scams

The Ataris’ Ex-Bassist Allegedly Masterminded a $27 Million Real-Estate Scam

Today in crucial updates on music that mattered in 2003: A member of that one band popular for a Don Henley cover may have turned to a life of crime, running a national real-estate scam that stole millions. According to the Santa Barbara Independent, the Ataris’ former bassist Michael Davenport was indicted last month on federal conspiracy and fraud charges that allege he masterminded an online telemarketing real-estate scam that lost 100,000 people a whopping total of $27 million between 2009 and 2016. Both Davenport and his associate Cynthia Rawlinson allegedly operated the scam under various company names, but mostly did their dirty work as a fake business called American Standard, which placed ads on Craigslist promising to show “pre-foreclosure” houses for sale at below-market prices.

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  • Posted 1/16/18 at 10:12 AM

Performing at Center Stage Was Always Camila Cabello’s Destiny

Singing groups are social experiments, and there are salient reasons why none ever last. Classic lineups rarely even make it five years past the whirlwind of a debut studio album. They all reach a point where they’re beholden to too many different moving parts — too many ideas for new directions, too many voices angling to be showcased in recordings, too many temperaments clashing on cramped bus and charter plane rides — and dutifully splinter or break. The Supremes changed members like outfits, and Destiny’s Child’s ten-year reign is split almost down the middle between the LeToya and LaTavia period and the Michelle Williams period. (We should study whatever TLC and the Backstreet Boys did to tough it out over ten years in one piece.) The group Fifth Harmony was formed from 2012 X Factor contestants the show’s judges deemed too rough around the edges for solo stardom, but too talented to send packing. The quintet finished third in the season and rocketed into a joint venture with judges Simon Cowell and L.A. Reid’s Syco Music and Epic Records imprints that gave rise to a three-year streak of gold and platinum singles … and plenty of band drama.

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Report: Seal Investigated for Sexual Battery

TMZ reports that singer Seal is being investigated by the LAPD for sexual battery. Tracey Birdsall, an actress and former neighbor of Seal’s, tells TMZ that Seal allegedly “lunged” at her in fall 2016 during a visit to his house. Claiming that the two were strictly friends, she says Seal attempted to kiss her, commented that her outfit implied that she was asking for it, and proceeded to grope her breasts. Though Birdsall says she refused his advances, at one point demanding that he stop, she claims Seal repeatedly groped her again on his couch and shamed her for her outfit. Birdsall says she left his home shortly after and has had no contact with him since the alleged incident.

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  • Posted 1/15/18 at 12:59 PM
  • Obits

The Cranberries Front Woman Dolores O’Riordan Dead at 46

According to the Associated Press, singer-songwriter Dolores O’Riordan, best known as the front woman for the rock band the Cranberries, has died at the age of 46. “The lead singer with the Irish band The Cranberries was in London for a short recording session,” her publicist said in a statement reported by the BBC. “Family members are devastated to hear the breaking news and have requested privacy at this very difficult time.” The singer fronted the band, which found massive success during the 1990s with albums like Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We? and No Need to Argue, from 1989 until 2003, then again after the band reunited in 2009. Details about the cause of her death are currently unavailable, but will be added to this post as more information emerges.

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2018 Was Just Begging Ansel Elgort and Scott Storch to Drop Some Heat

Ansolo has teamed up with aughts-era super-producer Scott Storch, and the result is a “Supernova.” The baby driver turned baby DJ turned baby singer adds to his repertoire of musical one-offs with this melancholy assemblage of word salad (e.g. “this supernova could cause a commotion, my mind’s of the notion you’ll still be my motive” and “reading my manifest, I’ll address your request”), and with a video that features Elgort — in very well-fitting jeans — stumbling through darkness, covered in sweat, while dodging passersby and for some reason playing a little hopscotch. If you wanted to know what it looks like when Storch plays a keyboard, he posted a BTS video to Instagram of the creative process.

Oprah’s Golden Globes Speech Was Such a Bop, It’s Now on Spotify

Pass the aux cord, we have a request: For all your weekend functions, instead of blasting the new Camila Cabello, Cardi B, or whatever your taste, treat your guests to the Song of Life, Oprah’s Golden Globes speech. Now, we are fully aware that her words, which have yet to stop flowing through us, are not technically set to any music. We also see no issue and neither, apparently, does Spotify. The streaming service has added Oprah’s presidential address acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award to its New Music Friday playlist after the Globes themselves uploaded the speech to its own playlist a few days ago. Rudely, it’s the very last song, but the gesture still stands. So, please, pause your gyrating to the rest of the plebs on the list and allow Oprah’s spirited “Their time is up!” to turn every party into a praise dance.

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