Famous Album Covers in Reverse Reveal More Than Just Tushies

When album art succeeds, it becomes wholly embedded in our conception of the music it introduces. Whether you like it or not, Nirvana ensured that you wouldn’t be able to listen to Nevermind without envisioning a wet, cash-hungry baby. You’ll likely never listen to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy without thinking about a butterfaced illustration of Kanye fucking a more-butterfaced angel, and you certainly can’t listen to Raffi’s Bananaphone without thinking of a phone that’s a banana! Aware of the stubbornness of such images, a Flickr user who goes by Harvezt decided to provide another dimension to these otherwise invariable visual associations (spotted via Stereogum). Here, Harvezt flips the album art, showing these covers from behind and opening our imaginations to what might have lurked beyond these famous frames.  … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Adrian Tomine on Drawing Everyday People and Fantasies of Writing a Novel

Although he’s originally from California, if you look at any of Adrian Tomine’s many illustrations for publications named after the city that he currently calls home, it’s difficult to think of Tomine as anything other than a New York artist. His work for The New Yorker and New York magazine capture the everyday look and feel of contemporary New York City, with single scenes begging you to fill in the blanks for the rest of the story: the New Yorker out of his element (in this particular case, a Yankees fan in a sea of Red Sox caps), two readers on passing subways making eye contact, and the bored teenage tourist reading great literature set in the city instead of looking at the tourist destinations. If you’ve spent any prolonged amount of time here, Tomine’s illustrations are scenes with which you’re familiar. … Read More

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Beautiful Vintage Photos of Bygone Bookstores

In this age of online ordering, physical bookstores aren’t getting all the love and attention they deserve. But you know that already. So before you head out to your local bookseller to pick up the latest new thing, perhaps you would like to indulge in some literary nostalgia and appease your book-beauty tooth (you know you’ve got one) with these lovely old photos of old bookstores (in some of which you could, at one time, find old books). And all right, not all are complete bygones — some, improbably, wonderfully, are still standing — but they don’t look quite like this anymore, and so the vintage-photo-ogling endures. After the jump, check out a selection of lovely vintage photos of old bookstores, and be sure to link to any of your favorites that are missing here in the comments. … Read More

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In Defense of a Woman Fronting Nirvana

Tonight Nirvana will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Given his unabashed nerdiness over music history, I’ve decided that Kurt Cobain would think this is at least a little cool. Moreover, I think he would be flattered to hear that his praises will be sung by likes of Michael Stipe and, if the latest entry in the Rock Hall rumor mill is to be trusted, Joan Jett. … Read More

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‘The Americans’ Season 2 Episode 7 Recap: “Arpanet”

It’s been a whole week but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about last week’s episode of The Americans. The scenes with Elizabeth and Philip were so haunting that I can’t get them out of my head and I was hoping that this week might be a little lighter, just to break the tension. “Arpanet” was lighter and a bit comical — it is tense at times and it’s not entirely frivolous, thankfully — but the focus on this early Internet contraption and some a small Henry plot were both welcome. … Read More

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‘Cosmo’ Forgets That Women Are Funny: Links You Need to See

In today’s links, we give you a bunch of heartwarming quotes from Lupita Nyong’o’s recent Marie Claire spread, mainly to counteract the utter lameness of Cosmopolitan’s depressing article on SNL. Read on for details. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Will “Vera” Be the Literary World’s “Normcore”?

A good way to get your work noticed in the era of the hashtag is to attach a sticky name to something in hopes of keeping the conversation going. You don’t necessarily have to have a strong idea attached to it, so as long as you have something people can causally drop in their conversation. One example would be “normcore,” a term made popular by Fiona Duncan at The Cut this past February. Meant to describe cool kids who dressed like “middle-aged, middle-American tourists,” the term has gotten so popular (New York Times-trend-piece popular), that people are using it to describe anything and everything that falls short of Comme des Garçons. … Read More

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Flavorwire Interview: Carl Wilson on James Franco, Poptimism, and His New Edition of ‘Let’s Talk About Love’

In 2007, Carl Wilson released what would go on to become the most infamous entry in Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 series of album-focused books. While his peers were writing about players in the popular music canon and critical darling rock bands, Canadian scribe Wilson looked to one of pop’s most bemoaned divas, Céline Dion, as a gateway into a conversation about cultural taste itself. It was an engrossing read, even for those who had hoped the “My Heart Will Go On” singer might face a similar fate as Jack from Titanic. … Read More

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‘Trophy Wife’ Loves ‘Scandal,’ ‘Parks and Rec’ Loves ‘Game of Thrones’: How TV Shows Are Embracing TV Fan Culture

On last night’s episode of Trophy Wife, a fantastic comedy with an unfortunate name, Diane (Marcia Gay Harden) fell in love with the show Scandal. She begins watching the gifted DVDs almost by accident but slowly finds herself sucked in, first because of the similarities between her and the show’s protagonist — both Diane and Scandal’s Olivia Pope are clad in all white and drinking red wine — but then because it’s one of those shows that she just can’t stop watching. As the episode progresses, Diane goes from spiteful reluctance to full-on obsession: sitting literally on the edge of the couch, hushing people around her, staring agape at the television, and only moving to absently pop another cheese puff into her mouth. … Read More

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