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A Selection of Hitherto Unseen Responses to Famous Songs

The idea of writing a song lyric as a letter is one that’s as old as music itself, but if you’re like Flavorwire, you may have occasionally found yourself wondering: what if the recipient of the song in question wrote back? What might they have to say? Wonder no longer, dear readers, because through the magic of a program that grants access to the the hitherto undiscovered secret archives of rock (aka Photoshop CS5), here are the unseen responses to a bunch of our favorite “letter” songs. … Read More

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Music’s Most Pointless “Catfights”

Earlier this week, in her new Rolling Stone cover story, Madonna said something that resonated with women everywhere: “We live in a world where people like to pit women against each other. And this is why I love the idea of embracing other females who are doing what I’m doing.”

This is especially true if you’re a female performer of a certain status. Even Madonna atoned for her feud with Lady Gaga, telling RS, “The only time I ever criticized Lady Gaga was when I felt like she blatantly ripped off one of my songs [‘Express Yourself’/’Born This Way’]. It’s got nothing to do with ‘she’s taking my crown’ or ‘she’s in some space of mine.’” … Read More

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Can National Theatre of Scotland’s ‘Let the Right One In’ Pave the Way for Horror on the Stage?

Throughout the National Theatre of Scotland’s Let the Right One In, adapted from John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel and Tomas Alfredson‘s film, audiences are subjected to a parade of lyrically gruesome images: a man tied upside-down to a tree, his throat perfunctorily slit and drained into a bucket; another man literally self-effacing with acid; a diminutive teenage girl in a candy-pink sweater whose mouth brims with vomit when she actually tries to eat candy, and whose face cascades with blood every time she enters a home uninvited. All of this stirs a reverent, rapt silence in the audience. This is not the type of play where spectators listlessly turn to their programs mid-show, pretending that looking up the catering credits will somehow enhance their experience. … Read More

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The Best Quotes From Kanye West’s Tear-Inducing Talk with Zane Lowe

Kanye West set the music world on fire with his performance of new single “All Day” at the Brit Awards yesterday, and today his honest interview with BBC’s Zane Lowe resulted in genuine tears, introspection, bon mots and enigmatic catchphrases. We culled the best quotes below. … Read More

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The Question of Ziplessness: Why ‘Secretary’ Is a More Appealing Depiction of BDSM Than ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

It is, more than anything else, a testament to the scarcity of nontraditional love stories on film that Fifty Shades of Grey is so often compared to Secretary. While the former is a new, record-breaking international blockbuster that metastasized out of history’s most bankable foray into erotic fan-fiction, the latter is an independent film based on a Mary Gaitskill story. Secretary cost just $4 million to make, and its release in 2002 didn’t dominate the cultural conversation so much as inspire a frisson among cinephiles, kink enthusiasts, and anyone else who sensed the promise of a scenario in which James Spader ordered Maggie Gyllenhaal to step into his office. … Read More

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Cool Girls Do It Better: On Kim Gordon’s Juicy, Modest Memoir, ‘Girl in a Band’

In the final paragraph of her memoir, Girl in a Band, Kim Gordon details a makeout session with a man who is most certainly not Thurston Moore. Emergency brake pulled, the two sat in front of a house on a hill that Gordon had rented in LA for several weeks last year while getting back to her visual art roots in a post-Sonic Youth, post-Thurston world. The anecdote starts kind of bumpy because it is apropos of nothing, but it ends somewhere fitting — hopeful, even. “I know: it sounds like I’m someone else entirely now,” she writes after pulling away from this man’s “full-on grope” for reasons of practicality, “and I guess I am.” … Read More

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From ‘Bagboy’ to “Too Many Cooks,” Twisted Sitcom Parodies Are Becoming Adult Swim’s Sweet Spot

A few months ago, Adult Swim aired “Too Many Cooks,” a brilliant, searing, and absolutely hilarious send-up of sitcoms, and particularly the family-friendly ABC TGIF staples of the ’90s. The 11-minute video surprised and shocked viewers, taking a dark turn from nostalgic tribute to twisted slasher flick, all while the same upbeat, cheesy theme music played. “Too Many Cooks” quickly became a huge viral hit for the network. While we already knew that there was a big market for nostalgic sitcom parodies, Adult Swim has proved that the best parodies are of the darker and weirder variety, ones that don’t elicit warm and fuzzy feelings but instead go for real laughs and even provide insight on why we’re so attracted to these cheesy programs in the first place. … Read More

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“Hot Dudes Reading” Instagram Reverses the Male Gaze and Makes Print Books Sexy

Scattered throughout the history of Western art, one finds dozens of portraits of girls reading. In this popular pose, the male (or female) artist’s gaze focuses on the female subject, while her own gaze rests modestly on her book, unaware of the watcher. Now, a self-described “group of tight-knit friends” has reversed that classic male gaze — along with the troubling trend that has people turning away from reading books on the train in favor of screens. … Read More

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Cyberspace Is the Place? Afrofuturism in the 21st Century

“Planet Earth: sound of guns, anger, frustration. There was no one to talk to up on planet Earth who’d understand, so we set up a colony for black people here. See what they can do on a planet all on their own, without any white people there… Another place in the universe, up under distant stars.”

So muses Sun Ra as he wanders through the imagined landscape of a distant planet in his 1974 film Space Is the Place. The film is perhaps the first thing that might come to mind when you think of Afrofuturism, representing a sort of quintessence of the ideas of a man who essentially created that movement (even if it didn’t get named as such until decades later). It unites the main ideas of Afrofuturism: interrogating the nature of racial oppression and imagining a version of the future where black people and culture are free of such oppression, in Ra’s case by decamping to another planet entirely. Afrofuturist ideals are interesting in that they’re both expressions of utopian futurism and principles deeply grounded in history — the parallels with emancipation are obvious, and the vision of the real world as a place of incessant oppression remains as depressingly true as it was 40 years ago. … Read More

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New Web Series Reimagines Monica Lewinsky’s New York Years

After their affair almost took down the Clinton presidency, Bill Clinton stayed in the White House, seemingly invincible, while Monica Lewinsky slunk out of public view.

But not for long. At age 27, Lewinsky arrived in New York as one of the most infamous women in American history. It was the age of post-millennial excess, the New York City of Candace Bushnell and designer everything. Into this glamorous universe, Monica — no last name necessary — was ushered. She became an “It Girl,” but also an object of constant surveillance, and the subject of a memorable profile by Vanessa Grigoriadis in New York Magazine. … Read More

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