Even When Kanye’s Screwing Up, He’s Still a Savvy Social Critic

Another week, another manufactured “controversy” surrounding Kanye West. Yeezus’ recent tour stop in Sydney, Australia garnered a fresh round of publicity — read: media coverage with ugly subtext — when a standard order for the audience to stand up left West momentarily frustrated with a couple of disabled fans. After a few minutes, West got the message and the show went on, but not before Kanye-“yells”-at-innocent-wheelchair-bound-fan became the latest piece of micro-evidence in the “crazed/egomaniacal/[insert loaded descriptor here]” narrative that’s been a part of West’s image from Hurricane Katrina through Yeezus. I won’t link to any of the write-ups, but if you’d like to watch a decent performance of “The Good Life,” the footage is available here. … Read More

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Flavorwire Premiere: Ross McLennan, “General Singh”

Who is General Singh? According to his creator, Australian songwriting veteran Ross McLennan, he’s “a fictional character embodying the anxieties of our time,” which doubtless means that he’s a rich and multifaceted character indeed. This song certainly is an intriguing piece of work, starting with a series of moody, minor-chord observations of the eponymous General and the world he inhabits — “Carnival rides/ Hawking sights of forgotten machinery… an array of B-film scenery” — before erupting into a brass-led chorus that finds McLennan imploring Singh to “sing… sing well.” The song will be available via iTunes tomorrow, and we’re delighted to premiere it exclusively on Flavorwire. Click through to have a listen! … Read More

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So Bad It’s Good: The Transcendent Peculiarity of ‘The Room’

Bad movies are not a simple matter. There are nearly as many categories of terrible movies as there are for great ones: there are films that are insultingly stupid (Batman & Robin), unintentionally funny (Birdemic), unintentionally, painfully unfunny (White Chicks), so bad they’re depressing (Transformers), and so on. But the most rewarding terrible movies are those we know as “so bad they’re good” — entertaining in their sheer incompetence, best braved in numbers, where the ham-fisted dramatics and tin-eared dialogue become fodder for years of random quotes and inside jokes. And in this spirit, Flavorwire brings you the latest installment in our monthly So Bad It’s Good feature: Tommy Wiseau’s legendary The Room, which Entertainment Weekly dubbed “The Citizen Kane of Bad Movies.” … Read More

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Exuberantly Colorful Photos of Flamboyant Moroccan “Rock Stars”

If these photos by London-based, Moroccan-born photographer and stylist Hassan Hajjaj are anything to go on, there’s a party happening in Marrakesh, and it seems like an awful shame that we’re not invited. They’re part of an exhibition called My Rock Stars, and there’s certainly an effortless cool about his subjects that’d put most Western rockers to… Read More

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25 Mountain Goats Songs That Could Be John Darnielle’s Next Novel

This week, John Darnielle will publish his first novel, the psychological thriller Wolf in White Van. This is of note because Darnielle has already released hundreds of narratives, but most in the form of songs with his band The Mountain Goats (he also previously penned a 33 1/3 book on Black Sabbath’s Master of Reality). The novel seems like an inevitability from the man whose music has always leaned literary, and got us thinking about some of the very best stories he has told within his music, and how the tales have become the backbone of one of the very best catalogs any songwriter in contemporary music has to offer. … Read More

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Untranslatable Words, Translated Into GIFs

One of the pleasures of learning new languages is acquiring words for concepts that you were never quite able to express in your native language. Perhaps the most famous example of this is the German word schadenfreude, which translates into English as “the pleasure derived from the misfortune of others.” An enterprising young artist has created a blog in which he translates these words, not into phrases, but into GIFs. Mark Cuyos, a trilingual 20-year-old medical student, founded his Tumblr, Wordstuck, for “curious people who seek adventures in discovering words and languages around the world.” Click through to see a few highlights from the project, which we spotted via DesignTaxi. … Read More

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Basilica Soundscape: A Music Festival for Grown-ups, Done (Mostly) Right

The grown-up music festival is a difficult idea to get right. Of all the attempts in recent years to create a festival that offers something beyond rolling around in the mud with people on perilous amounts of ecstasy and/or avoiding dickheads in Native American headdresses, only All Tomorrow’s Parties has really gotten the formula right. Sadly, ATP’s business savvy hasn’t matched their taste in music, and their ongoing financial/logistical problems have left a gap in the market for someone to put on a festival that brings together a relatively esoteric bill, a crowd more interested in music than partying, and an experience likely to appeal to those who’ve had more than enough of festivals with six stages and a bazillion bands on the bill. … Read More

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Edward Gorey’s Vintage Paperback Covers for Doubleday Anchor

Writer, illustrator, spooky legend of the macabre and noted cat lover Edward Gorey spent the 1950s as the art editor for Doubleday’s new editions of Anchor paperbacks concerning serious and academic novels. According to Goreyography, the artist was responsible for the total cover package with the lettering, typography, design layouts, and in some cases, the art (other artists also contributed illustrations for this series, including the likes of Milton Glaser and Andy Warhol). We first saw these covers via Austin Kleon’s website, and do check it out: there’s a wonderful collection of 90-plus Gorey-era Doubleday Anchor paperbacks on Flickr. See a small sampling below. … Read More

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The Stories Behind 10 Iconic Movie Scenes

Sixty years ago today, Marilyn Monroe stepped on a subway grate and made movie history. She was shooting a film called The Seven-Year Itch in New York City, and the image of her on the grate, the train passing underneath blowing up her skirt, would become one of the most iconic in all of cinema. To commemorate that magic movie moment, we’ve gathered behind-the-scenes tales of that and nine other classic movie scenes. (We didn’t include Raiders. Harrison Ford shot the guy with the sword instead of fighting him because he had the trots. We’re assuming you knew that one.) … Read More

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Who Won the 2000s Garage Rock Revival War? A Ranking Circa 2014

The rock’n’roll dreams of 2003 are alive in this month’s record release calendar. Yeah Yeah Yeahs leader Karen O released her debut solo album, Crush Songs, last week, while her NYC compatriots Interpol attempted to mount another comeback with their fifth album, El Pintor. Later this month, Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas will release his debut with The Voidz as his backing band, entitled Tyranny. … Read More

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