In 2007, when people were expecting Sufjan Stevens to make another modest ode to Midwestern depression, he offered up a film project inspired by one of New York City’s greatest eyesores: the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The BQE, his first work commissioned by local arts institution Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), paired footage of the outer boroughs and its raised highway with an orchestral score as dramatic as it gets, seemingly in an attempt to extract beauty from an urban monstrosity. This week, Stevens premiered a counterpoint of sorts to The BQE via his second BAM-commissioned soundtrack, Round-Up. (If The BQE is any indication, the score will be released later on down the line, too.) … Read More
Everyone is looking for some form of advice. We as humans will turn to our favorite authors, politicians and directors for inspiration on how to live, love, and find our purpose in life. The Wall Street Journal has decided to collect the wisdom of six people they’ve dubbed “luminaries” on the topic of youth. And one of these luminaries is Kendall Jenner. Calling Kendall Jenner a luminary might seem ridiculous, but if you’ve watched Keeping up with the Kardashians, you’ll see she’s often surrounded by a family of overgrown children, so maybe the Journal is on to something. … Read More
Alternate Routes is a column from Flavorwire contributor and WFMU DJ Jesse Jarnow, in which he’ll explore music solely distributed outside the Big 3 of Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.
Christmas has traditionally been the loneliest time of year for off-grid music, absent from year-end considerations and broader recognition due to scarcity or obscure format. Lately, though, this jolliest of list-making seasons has grown more accommodating to recordings from the corners. And while a truly functional SEO economy would provide full-time pensions for beat critics to cover the latest emissions from every conceivable platform, locality, and micro-genre, the annual listicle harvest and its celebration is the next best solution. … Read More
Worldview Entertainment has released the trailer for Song One, in which Anne Hathaway stars as a young archeologist who returns home… Read More
Around 11:30 this morning, Colin Meloy started busking new Decemberists songs in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg neighborhood.
Last night, Lena Dunham brought her 12-city book tour behind Not That Kind of Girl back home with a variety show of quirk, feminism, and friendship for Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Unbound series. The 90-minute event moved quickly, starting with cat-driven stand-up from Mike Birbiglia and a three-song set from Jack Antonoff of fun. and Bleachers (familiar to Not That Kind of Girl readers in the role of good-guy boyfriend). Dunham read two pieces from her nonfiction collection — an essay about her younger sister, Grace, and one of the book’s humorous lists of gaffes — to the intimate crowd, which included her mother Laurie Simmons and actor Jon Glaser (Parks and Recreation) sitting in the front row. Then the show really began. … Read More
If you’ve done any kind of traveling outside the United States, it will quickly dawn on you just how young America really is. Brooklyn-based artist, 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, and TED speaker Rachel Sussman has photographic evidence. Her The Oldest Living Things in the World series, which we first spotted on Photojojo, documents the artist’s research and travels across continents in search of the world’s oldest inhabitants—continuously living things that have weathered 2,000 years or more. … Read More
Martin Amis’ new Holocaust novel, The Zone of Interest, is not about Adolf Hitler. Until, weirdly, it is. But for the first 295 pages, it is a difficult yet captivating book set in Auschwitz, one that reflects the atrocity of the Final Solution through the lusts and petty jealousies of Nazi officials. What begins as a romance between Angelus “Golo” Thomsen, fictional nephew of Hitler’s secretary, and Hannah Doll, wife of the pathetic and monstrous Kommandant, ends as a complicated moral tale that reveals the full spectrum of complicity in the Nazi horror. And it does all of this without once uttering the name “Hitler.” Or at least not until an afterword, fronted by a grainy image of the Führer, where Amis explains everything about the book that he doesn’t need to explain. … Read More
The next time you’re tempted to write a song about the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” do New Yorkers a favor: don’t. The latest pop homage to New York comes via virtual unknown Catey Shaw and “Brooklyn Girls,” an anthem for young female transplants riding the L train from their apartments in Bushwick to Williamsburg, asserting their edginess by wearing combat boots in the summer. It’s suddenly started to go viral, three days after its release — yesterday afternoon, “Brooklyn Girls” had 7,000 views on YouTube. As of press time, it has 105,000. A great deal of its rise to prominence is attributable to the instant backlash from Brooklynites intimately familiar with the world Shaw describes (i.e., many music bloggers). … Read More
A grown man asked me to take a picture of him with a minor league baseball team’s mascot this weekend, but before I did, he needed to put on his puffy shirt. You see, he was just trying to match Sandy the Seagull. … Read More