What Makes an Authentic Rave? Michaelangelo Matos on Chronicling EDM’s Rise in ‘The Underground Is Massive’

In his substantial new history from Dey Street Books, The Underground Is Massive: How Electronic Dance Music Conquered America, journalist Michaelangelo Matos untangles decades of an oft-misunderstood underground as it lurched towards ubiquity. Turning 18 seminal events into set pieces that explore the evolution of the music and surrounding culture, Matos draws a direct line from the post-disco epiphanies of Chicago house and Detroit techno to the 21st-century robotics of Daft Punk and glittering EDM mega-festivals, party cruises, campouts, and other bacchanals where saucer-eyed dancers should be drinking a lot more water than they probably are. In a book that’s as much detailed ethnography as musical history, Matos — a veteran of the ’90s Midwest scene — builds from email lists, party fliers, archived DJ sets, and fresh interviews to find the first widescreen perspective on one of the United States’ most obscured cultural legacies. … Read More

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Is ‘Silicon Valley’ the Darkest Sitcom on TV?

Silicon Valley, the parody so eerily note-perfect it’s practically not a parody, returned to HBO this Sunday, and as befits a show about the country’s most intensely scrutinized industry, it’s already come up for breathless praise (so on point it’s basically a documentary!) and disappointed pans (so toothless it lets tech bros off the hook!). But while the second season has some new additions — more female characters, more scare tactics from Gavin Benson, more sub-genres of douchebag — the show has retained its defining characteristic and greatest strength: total, unremitting darkness. … Read More

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Family Feuds and Celebrity Tirades: Links You Need to See

Dennis Quaid (who, once upon a time, starred in classic family movies such as The RookieFootloose, and The Parent Trap) overwhelmed the Internet after having a meltdown on set and going off on an expletive-packed tirade. Rumors are already circulating that the whole thing might have been a hoax, but only pure hatred could produce the creative insults Quaid hurls at “Dopey the Dick” — to give an example. Take a peek at these four other ridiculous on-set rants and recall pre-Kimmel era, when we could wholly enjoy an outburst, free from the uncertainty that the ubiquity of pranks has produced.  … Read More

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Equal Pay Day: How Women Get Stiffed in Media and the Arts

Today is Equal Pay Day, and you don’t have to approve of Patricia Arquette’s poorly considered Oscar-night comments to get behind her push for gender pay equity, which is far from a realized goal in America. The pay gap directly or indirectly affects most workers and their families: women in the US working full-time make only 78 cents for every dollar a man makes, while it gets worse when compounded with racial inequality: a Latina woman earns only 56 cents to that dollar. … Read More

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“Smoothies, What the Fuck”: Steve Albini on Cooking, Celebrity Chefs, and Why Foodie Culture Sucks

Of all the searing appraisals attributed to Steve Albini — musician (Shellac, Big Black), recording engineer (Nirvana, The Breeders, PJ Harvey, the list goes on forever), owner of Chicago’s Electrical Audio studio, thrower of truth bombs, notoriously fair dude — the one that sticks with me the most comes from the least likely source: his 2012 interview with Bon Appétit. “I hate [the word] foodie because it’s cute, like pretty much all diminutives associated with eating,” he told the magazine. “Veggies, sammies, parm. I eat food, and I cook it: it’s for eating, preferably with friends, and I don’t make a fetish out of it.” … Read More

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Paul Feig’s First TV Show Since ‘Freaks and Geeks’ Is Like ‘Community’ in Space

There are two exciting reasons to check out Yahoo Screen’s newest comedy series, Other Space: It comes from Freaks and Geeks‘ Paul Feig, the first TV series the Bridesmaids director has created since the cult classic, and it marks the reunion of Mystery Science Theater alumni Trace Beaulieu and Joel Hodgson. But even once that novelty wears off, Other Space remains a charmingly weird comedy — and Yahoo Screen’s first suitable companion… Read More

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Why the Best Depictions of the Latino Experience Are the Most Specific: On Cecilia Rodriguez Milanés’ ‘Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You’

The first story in Cecilia Rodriguez Milanés’ latest collection, Oye What I’m Gonna Tell You, titled “Niñas de Casa” (roughly translated as “house girls”), opens with the murders of three Cuban-American women. First, a certain Celeste is choked to death after refusing her American manager’s sexual advances at the dollar store where she worked to support her younger brother’s coming baby. Then Magi, a high school AP student, is killed while in the car with her drug-dealer boyfriend, in a shootout aimed at him. Finally, Xiomara, a middle-aged single woman who volunteers at a nursing home twice a week, commits suicide the day after her baby-faced neighbor nearly strangles her to death and rapes her. … Read More

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Why We Should All Be Spinsters: Writers Take on a New Feminine Mystique

Over half a century ago, Betty Friedan called suburban kitchens “comfortable concentration camps” in the pages of The Feminine Mystique. Friedan and her fellow (largely affluent, white, and narrowly defined) second-wave feminists believed that loosening household strictures and upending the power dynamic of intimate relationships should be a primary goal of feminism. … Read More

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Make Movies the Adam Sandler Way With Flavorwire’s Happy Madison Productions Mad Libs!

I know this won’t comes as news to those of you who are camped out in front of your local movie theater or eagerly marking the days off your Joe Dirt calendar with a big black Sharpie, but this Friday marks the theatrical release of Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, the oh-so-eagerly anticipated sequel to the Kevin James hit (you might wanna sit down for this: the 2009 original grossed $183 million worldwide). It’s the latest gift to the cinema from Happy Madison Productions, the Adam Sandler-founded shingle that has given us not only the bulk of his distinguished filmography, but a plethora of comedy classics from his various buddies and hangers-on: the Deuce Bigelow movies, Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star, Grandma’s Boy, The Benchwarmers, The Master of Disguise, Zookeeper, Bucky Larson: Born to Be A Star, and more. And if you pay enough attention to these movies (a bit of an ask, I know!) you’ll notice some, um, patterns to their storytelling and creation. To demonstrate, we got our hands on the secret formula for Happy Madison’s success — and now you can pitch movies to Sandler and co. too, via that old road-trip fave, the Mad Lib. So fill in the form with your own story and casting suggestions, and then click ahead, fill in the blanks, and enjoy your millions in box office and VOD revenue. … Read More

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And “God” Created “Woman”: ‘Ex Machina’ and Film’s New Obsession With Idealized Post-Human Women

The new strain of cerebral, post-human sci-fi dramas obsessed with idealized femininity bear notable, but not necessarily surprising, similarities. At the core of Alex Garland’s superb new film Ex Machina, Jonathan Glazier’s Under the Skin, Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, and Spike Jonze’s Her is a “woman” — not completely a female person, but an embellished being whose existence, either physically, emotionally, intellectually or all three, is created to be an amalgam of a heterosexual male character’s desires. With the exception of Under the Skin, lurking just along the periphery of the “female” core of these films is a male Maker character. And just outside that dynamic, looking in from the vantage point of godlike omniscience, is another male maker: the director.

[Spoiler alert: this post discusses plot details from each of the above-mentioned films.] … Read More

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