Another year is drawing to a close, which means it’s time to make 2010’s roundup of the year’s most controversial magazine covers an annual thing. As usual, 2011 brought plenty of outrage over starlets showing skin, but that’s hardly the only transgression that had parents, pundits, and censors worked into a lather. Meet the grocery store chain that thinks gay families are as explicit as Penthouse, learn why it’s not cool to put Kim Kardashian on the cover of Turkish Cosmo, and take one last, long look at Michele Bachmann’s crazy eyes, after the jump. … Read More
There’s a terrific little movie coming out tomorrow called London Boulevard (it’s available now on demand as well), a tough British gangster flick along the lines of The Long Good Friday or Mona Lisa, starring Colin Farrell and Keira Knightley and directed by William Monahan, who wrote The Departed. But his stylish direction and their charismatic performances aren’t why I can’t get the picture out of my head. It’s because of the Yardbirds.
Three times in the film (the opening credits, the closing credits, and a key point in-between), Monahan fires up “Heart Full of Soul,” the marvelously moody blues-rocker from 1965. It’s a great song, but it’s so well-matched to the film that they’re now all tied up together in my head; it’s pretty safe to bet that any time I hear that song from now on (which, being a Yardbirds fan, will be more often than you’d think), there will be an image of Farrell on his jail cot to accompany it.
And that’s the power of a well-chosen music cue in film; when they’re properly matched, we’ve suddenly married them, and anytime we hear that song we see that scene, and anytime we think of that movie, we hear that song. After the jump, we present ten songs that are forever tied to the movies that showcased them (and, just to keep it fair, there’s no songs from “musicals,” and no songs that were composed specifically for the film in question). Agree, disagree, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Recently, we read an article in the Guardian wherein critic Tom Ewing proclaimed loudly that he’d never heard Nirvana’s Nevermind. While Ewing’s oversight was apparently more due to apathy than willful ignorance — as he writes, “often I let an album pass me by, watch the buzz around it swell, crest and ebb” — the piece did get us thinking about how we’re generally of the opinion that you should give everything a chance, and then make a judgement, not dismiss things out of hand because they don’t fit your view of what’s good and what ain’t. While only the most curmudgeonly would dismiss Nevermind out of hand, there are plenty of other less fashionable albums that people these days tend to dismiss a priori as terminally uncool. And so we got to thinking about some such unfashionable records that we still think are totally worthy of a spot on your shelf and/or your iPod. We’ve nominated a few after the jump — (polite) suggestions are, as ever, welcome. … Read More
A few days ago we shared adorable pictures from the early years of some of our favorite writers with you, including an amazing photo of Ernest Hemingway in a dress. Today, we thought it might be fun to revisit the concept, but this time turning our focus on the music world. We don’t know about you, but we never really picture rock ‘n’ roll stars as having childhoods; wearing clothes that your parents have picked out for you and going through an awkward stage is the opposite of bad-ass. So, if you’re curious as to what Courtney Love looked like decades before she ever met Kurt — or you’d like to see how freaking cute he was as a little kid — click through to check out our roundup now. … Read More
Today brings the exciting news that Sir Elton John is producing Rocketman, a biopic based on his own life story; according to producer Steve Hamilton Shaw, “It will be as unique as Elton’s life, told in a non-linear and hyper-visual manner that will transport people through the many intense experiences, some wonderful, some not, that helped define Elton as an artist, musician and man.” We don’t know about you, but we’re already gleefully rubbing our hands together at the prospect of so many fantastic costumes in one film. In recent years, John has tamed down his signature look quite a bit (he reportedly thinks that he’s too old for sequins and skintight clothes), but back in the good old bad old days, he liked to perform in glamorous outfits that were delightfully over-the-top. After the jump, we’ve rounded up some images of our favorite feathered and bedazzled ensembles; hopefully more than a few of these will make their way into the movie! … Read More
Sometimes, it seems like you have to be one thing or the other — an athlete or a brain, a princess or a criminal. But as we learned from The Breakfast Club, that’s simply not the case. We recently took a look at intriguing photos of famous authors playing sports — proving once and for all that nerds can be athletic too — and that got us thinking about the famous musicians who’ve also dabbled in the physical arts, often times with each other. Click through to see George Harrison taking on Bob Dylan at tennis, Robert Plant playing soccer in a speedo, Elvis in his football finery, and more. It’s enough to get our blood pumping. … Read More
If you watched True Blood on Sunday night, you probably heard the Nick Cave/Neko Case version of The Zombies’ “She’s Not There” that played over the end credits. We were pretty excited to hear about this collaboration, but unfortunately it proved somewhat less than the sum of its parts – Case’s vocals were decidedly lackluster while Cave, as our own Judy Berman put it, sounded “like the deep-voiced guy on every early-’90s house track.” Ouch. There have been plenty of heinous duets over the years (like this one, which is like the musical equivalent of pairing Beelzebub with Elizabeth Báthory) — but no one expects anything good to come of such things. Somehow it’s more disappointing when it’s two artists you genuinely like and respect who combine to create something that proves a whole less exciting than it sounded on paper. Like this lot, for instance. … Read More
It’s been a big year for Ellie Goulding. Never mind that last year saw the UK singer/songwriter win the BBC Sound of 2010 award, release her debut album to a No. 1 chart position in Great Britain, and basically become a household name across Europe. In 2011, she topped it all by staging a performance at the royal wedding, at the personal request of the world’s most talked about couple. With all that momentum, people Stateside are starting to perk up and take notice, as evidenced by Goulding’s recent appearance on Saturday Night Live. And it’s only a matter of time before Lights, the album driven by undeniable dance-pop hits like “Starry Eyed” and the title track, makes a similarly resounding impact in the US.
In our exclusive interactive interview, Goulding discusses performing for William and Kate, collaborating with Tinie Tempah, her surprise hit cover version of Elton John’s “Your Song,” and mixing music and marathons. Control the questions yourself by selecting any one you want in the video player, and get an instant response. … Read More
When one of our favorite book blogs, the Millions, tipped us off to this great photo gallery of writers with their dogs, we thought about all the famous furry companions in other disciplines and realized how many of our favorite musicians have secret odes to their dogs. Okay, okay, so the whole story about “Mandy” being Barry Manilow’s dog is an urban legend, but we’re of the opinion that every hardworking musician needs a furry bellwarmer for the cold nights. Plus, we all know that the internet is mostly for looking at cute pictures of animals, so how could we resist? Click through to see ten musicians with their best furry friends. … Read More
For their series Star, People Too (aka Russian designers Alexei Lyapunov and Lena Ehrlich) created miniature paper versions of famous musicians using tools like tweezers and knives and a combination of construction and specialty papers — and they come complete with tiny instruments and painfully detailed sets! Click through to see the mini versions of Bob Marley, The Beatles, Elton John, Elvis, Michael Jackson, and Queen. … Read More