buzz

The Awkward Ménage à Trois of Men, Women, and Music

There he is — across the crowded dance floor, two rows down from you in a college lecture, cracking open a beer at someone’s house party: a cute guy wearing the T-shirt of your favorite band. It’s not love at first sight, probably, but it’s infatuation or at least curiosity. You’ll use that thing you have in common to start a conversation, one of you will mention that you were considering checking out a certain show Friday night, you’ll start following each other on Spotify, and sometime after that you’ll be deep into a relationship whose foundation is music. … Read More

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NBC’s Promising ‘Constantine’ Suffers From an Uncertain Start

Television’s big bets on comic book adaptations have largely paid off this season, with Fox’s Gotham doing all right for the network (although the quality of the Batman-centric drama has dipped since its dark and promising pilot) and The CW’s The Flash proving to be a hit, both with viewers and critics (the pilot episode was one of the best-received new pilots of the season). There are more adaptations in the works for next year, but before that, there’s NBC’s Constantine, a late entry to the game that premieres tonight. … Read More

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‘Listen Up Philip’ vs. ‘Inside Llewyn Davis': On the Interior Life of the Asshole Artist

I couldn’t stop thinking of the Cohen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis while watching Alex Ross Perry’s new movie, Listen Up Philip. Not just because of the superficial similarities: not just because Philip and Llewyn are both grumpy, hirsute male artists who seem intent on disseminating their self-important masculine angst. Not just because both films are loosely based on real people whose names have been altered (Dave Van Ronk for Llewyn, Philip Roth for Philip), or because these altered names both appear in the titles of each film in a way that implicitly condescends to their childish male characters. And lastly, not just because both films are stylized to reflect — with self-reflexive criticism — the ways nostalgia deforms how we perceive art. … Read More

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‘Nashville’ Is Pushing Its Gay Cowboy Out of the Closet, and It’s About Time

Note: This article contains spoilers for last night’s episode of Nashville.

A few weeks back, ABC’s Nashville — now in its third season — nearly evaded a conversation that seems unavoidable when a young, single character gets pregnant unexpectedly in the year 2014. The country music soap delicately danced around the topic of abortion. Superstar Juliette Barnes (played by Hayden Panettiere) would have the baby and give it up for adoption, and she would hide the pregnancy while filming a Patsy Cline biopic and touring the country, practicality be damned. … Read More

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Are Amazon’s Bullying Days Over? We’re About to Find Out

America’s most reputable company (?!) is set to report Q3 losses of between 57 to 75 cents per share, by some predictions, when the market closes today. No sweat. Amazon hasn’t turned a third quarter profit in three years. Still, for those who are paying attention, Bezos & Co. have been acting weird as hell lately. … Read More

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An Introduction to Arthur Russell’s Weird, Wonderful World

Disco producer, avant-garde experimentalist, classically trained cellist, visionary: there are few artists who’ve been both as under-appreciated and as influential as Arthur Russell. Over the course of his career, spanning the early ’70s until his AIDS-related death in 1992, Russell’s work encompassed a bewildering variety of projects, many of which never saw the light of day until after his death. With the all-star tribute album Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell out this week (and featuring Robyn, Hot Chip, Phosphorescent, Blood Orange, and many more), it seems like a fine time to look back at the great man’s remarkably diverse and innovative discography. If you’ve always wondered just where to start with Russell, wonder no longer! … Read More

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Dystopia Is Here: ‘Citizenfour’s’ Revealing Portrait of Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, who risked his life by spilling the secret information that nothing is a secret, is perhaps over-revered by a certain type of person: white, male, national-security obsessed, libertarian-leaning, privileged. These are the folks who weren’t ever dissidents, immigrants, people of color or “othered,” people who were genuinely shocked and not exhausted by Snowden’s snuck-out news that the government is listening in (at least via metadata) to our every little click and convo. … Read More

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’90s Pop-Culture Witches, Ranked

Every generation gets the witches that they deserve, but the ’90s was a very special time for the witch (teen and otherwise) in pop culture. It was a time when even seamy little b-movies aimed at teens had a bunch of women talking to each other and accessing an ancient source of power. It was pretty cool! Now that the wheels of nostalgia have turned so that the ’90s is fair game, we’re separating the wheat from the chaff in your misty, rose-colored memories of pop culture witches. … Read More

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How to Taylor Swiftify Your Personal Brand in 12 Steps

Next week, Taylor Swift will release 1989, her fifth album and her “first documented pop album.” Swift announced the album back in August, but she’s been setting up her grown-ass reintroduction to the public for some time now. To the outside eye, Swift has made some major changes in her life: a move to New York, new famous pals, love life on hiatus, and above all, no more country twang. She’s done it in a brilliant way, with distinct strategies that could be useful to a number of different creators. Let’s go through the 12 steps of Swiftian reinvention as it relates to one’s personal brand. … Read More

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Yes, Those Pictures of Renée Zellweger Are Disturbing. But Why?

This morning, a series of photos surfaced, showing Renée Zellweger looking dramatically different—a bit like a stranger, a bit Sarah Jessica Parker or Robin Wright, and still a bit like herself, but only if one looks hard. “It’s always nice to meet new people, even if they’re old friends,” was Gawker’s only comment, and then the internet exploded with thoughts, horror and even anger at the star. … Read More

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