Chilly Gonzales on Orchestral Rap and Dueling John Mayer

Chilly Gonzales has been on an artistic rampage for well over a decade now. The Canadian-born, Paris-based artist once known as Jason Beck has collaborated with Peaches, Feist, and Jamie Lidell; released numerous albums of rap, pop, and instrumental piano music; wrote, starred in, and released his own feature film; and broken the world record for solo piano performance (after playing for over 27 hours straight).

His latest is The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales, an album that blends rap with orchestral music, arranged by his film composer brother, Christophe Beck. We caught up with Chilly at home in Paris for an interactive video interview, in which he reveals his love of Jewish humor, explains the connection between hip-hop and South Park, and challenges John Mayer to a duel. … Read More

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10 Musicians Who Just Keep Getting Cooler As They Get Older

One of the intimidating things about getting older is the realization that no matter what you do, one day, you’re going to end up as that poor schmuck on the wrong side of the generation gap. One day you’re the voice of a generation and the owner of the quickest-selling album of all time, the next you’re recording an album of ukulele songs. Unless, of course, you happen to be one of the ten people we’ve catalogued below, who have the irritating tendency to somehow get cooler as they get older. Some of them started out as massive dorks, mind. Read on after the jump. … Read More

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The Morning's Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. A new trailer is up for the Conan the Barbarian reboot. What do you think: Can Jason Momoa hold a candle to Arnold Schwarzenegger? [via Deadline]

2. In case you’ve forgotten, Tina Fey is hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend. Check out the profanity-laced promos for the episode here.

3.… Read More

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A Guide to 2010’s Cures for the Common Christmas Show

Now that Christmas is so close we can almost taste the red-and-green sugar cookies, we’re starting to sour on your typical seasonal entertainment. It seems like everyone’s all The Christmas Story this, It’s A Wonderful Life that. So, if you’re like us, you may be searching for a new, original, and exciting way to get your holiday cheer on. We’ve got great alternatives for everything from The Nutcracker to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular after the jump. … Read More

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The Best and Worst Indie Musicians Turned Film Actors

Last week we caught a sneak preview of Ivory Tower, an “existential sports comedy” about brothers Hershell (singer/songwriter Jason “Chilly Gonzales” Beck) and Thadeus (DJ/producer”Tiga” James Sontag) fighting over both the title of competitive chess champion and a woman named Marsha, played by Merrill Beth Nisker, a.k.a. Peaches. Hershell’s affinity for “jazz chess,” in which you play against yourself and there are no winners, directly contrasts with Thadeus’s flamboyant and razor-sharp competitive spirit. … Read More

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What’s on at Flavorpill: Links that made the rounds in our office.

Today at Flavorpill, we went hunting for the Hipster Grifter. Instead, all we found was a whole bunch of deer. We set our alarms for midnight, when NPR will start streaming the new St. Vincent album. We relived the 10 great cover songs from Coachella — or at least the two… Read More

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Ladyhawke Keeps the ’80s Revival Worthwhile

Named after an ’80s fantasy flick starring Matthew Broderick and Michelle Pfeiffer, New Zealand’s Ladyhawke is carrying the torch for the decade of her birth in a big way. The artist, known to her family as Pip Brown, released her self-titled debut album in the U.S. this week. A mix of retro-synth pop, dance-floor cool, and timeless tunes, the record has already charted everywhere from her native continent to her adopted home of England, where she is currently on her first headlining tour. While Brown is drawing comparisons to everyone from Pat Benatar to Peaches, she’s also drawing a host of celebrity fans, including Kylie Minogue and Courtney Love. … Read More

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