There are plenty of reasons to be excited about Skyfall, the newest installment in the venerable James Bond movie franchise (fifty years and counting): Daniel Craig is back as Bond, Javier Bardem as the new Bond villain, Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes bringing it all together with wit and grace. But our first indication that this one might be something special came a few weeks back, when we got a listen to Adele’s moody, smoky theme song for the film. It’s got a big, brassy sound that immediately recalls Shirley Bassey, who became the signature voice of the Bond movie theme songs (and while she only did three of them, that’s two more than anyone else), and digging up Bassey’s tunes sent us down a YouTube rabbit hole of Bond themes. As you might expect, over the course of fifty years there have been some timeless, immortal songs; there have been others that, to put it charitably, haven’t aged quite so well. After the jump, we’ve picked our five best, four worst, and one in between of the Bond themes thus far. Some controversies may erupt, so by all means, throw in your two cents in the comments. … Read More
Though cross-pollination between books and music is an age-old trend, cult novelist Bret Easton Ellis fills his books with more music references than anyone else we can think of, and his works are inextricably woven into the pop culture they portray — partially because it seems like every time Ellis makes a music reference in a novel, a band is making an Ellis reference in a song. Today is Ellis’ birthday, and to celebrate, we’ve put together a master list of music mentioned throughout his entire oeuvre, complete with streaming playlists so you can fill your day with a BEE soundtrack. We had some help from the official source, but finding that insufficient, went through ourselves and picked out some more of our favorite musical moments and shout-outs throughout the novels. Of course we haven’t managed to scrape together every last reference, but you need a hump day project, right? Click through to listen to the music from Bret Easton Ellis’ entire oeuvre, and have yourself a very ’80s Wednesday. … Read More
Exciting news: American Express just announced that Todd Haynes and My Morning Jacket will be the next filmmaker/band pairing in its Unstaged series, which has previously featured collaborations by Terry Gilliam/Arcade Fire, John Legend/Spike Lee, and Duran Duran/David Lynch. If the match seems a bit random, it’s worth noting that My Morning Jacket frontman Jim… Read More
Are hair infographics the new United States infographics? Yesterday, we puzzled over three decades of bad video game ‘dos. Then we came across this wonderful timeline charting the evolution of Duran Duran members’ hair, from 1979 through 2009. (Our favorite is John Taylor in 1984.) It also serves as a handy guide to… Read More
Critic and author Rob Sheffield opened both his heart and his record collection to the public with his 2007 best-seller Love Is a Mixtape, chronicling his life with first wife Renée via mixtape and memory. Sheffield’s new book, out today, is called Talking to Girls About Duran Duran: One Young Man’s Quest for True Love and a Cooler Haircut. The memoir follows the author through his awkward ’80s teenage years and recounts his awe of glittery pop and, more importantly, the girls who loved to talk about it.
“Girl language can’t be duplicated or faked,” says Sheffield. “When I was 16, the way that girls communicated with each other seemed so much more interesting. Duran Duran were these pretty boys and really girl-crazy, but in their videos and songs they’re not trying to tame these wild women, not trying to conquer or possess them. They’re just gazing at them and listening to them in this awestruck kind of way. That’s what made them relateable.” We asked Sheffield to curate a a video playlist chronicling his pursuit of girlie knowledge. His guided tour of the lacquered ladies of ’80s pop is after the jump. … Read More
As you may have heard, Erykah Badu has dropped a buzzy new music video for “Window Seat” from her new album New Amerykah Part Two: Return of the Ankh. Why the hype? In the five-minute clip — which is an homage to Matt and Kim’s “Lessons Learned” — the soul songstress strips down from a black overcoat into eventual full-frontal nudity.
But as quickly as it surfaced, the video was taken down from YouTube by Universal Music Group, and we were left feeling slightly pervy for craving more naked music videos. We’ve done the dirty work so that you don’t have to, and rounded up 10 of our all-time favorites after the jump. We’ve come a long way since Duran Duran’s “Girls on Film.” … Read More
Further fanning the flames of anticipation surrounding their recently-bumped-up forthcoming album, Spoon has released the cover art for Transference, which is due out January 19, 2010 in the US. Finally. The photograph itself is one from 1970 taken in Mississippi by renowned photographer William Eggleston, a photographer accustomed to having his work featured on an album cover or two. It was originally published in Eggleston’s Guide back in 1976.
It’s lovely and it makes us a bit nostalgic for other great album art that came out of the gallery world as opposed to a record company’s art department. … Read More
Photographer Dean Chamberlain’s image-making process employs dramatic color and movement to create surreal landscapes, portraits, and videos.
Chamberlain uses hours-long exposures and kinetic, richly colored light to capture lush, dreamlike images without computer manipulation. His best known work is an iconic portrait of his longtime friend Timothy Leary, but his portrait of David Bowie and video for Duran Duran’s “Missing” are evidence of his equal presence in the music world. … Read More