Phil Spector

The 20 Worst Made-for-TV Biopics About Musicians

Historically, television hasn’t had the best luck when it comes to making biopics about musicians. Biographical films chronicling a celebrity’s life (musician or otherwise, on television or film) are always going to be hard to do correctly, and will inevitably be subjected to intense scrutiny. Add in TV’s tendency to water down and rush through real-life stories, and it’s nearly impossible to find a made-for-television biopic that’s worth watching. And yet, TV keeps trying — Lifetime will air its ill-advised Aaliyah movie this weekend — and it keeps failing. Here’s a look at 20 of television’s worst musician… Read More

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David Mamet’s ‘Phil Spector': Not Quite Fact, Not Quite Fiction

David Mamet’s Phil Spector opens with what might be the most peculiar disclaimer I’ve ever seen on a docudrama. Here it is, in full: “This is a work of fiction. It’s not ‘based on a true story.’ It is a drama inspired by actual persons in a trial, but it is neither an attempt to depict the actual persons, nor to comment upon the trail or its outcome.” So we know what the film isn’t… which prompts the rather reasonable question of what the hell it is. … Read More

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Fascinating Photos of Famous Musicians in Their Studios

We’re constantly fascinated with the creative process here at Flavorwire, and one of the most important components of that process is the space in which it takes place. For musicians, at least as far as the recording process goes, this place is the studio, and as such we thought we’d take a look at the studios of some of our favorite musicians. The contrasts on display are intriguing, from the endearingly chaotic to the pristine and very expensive, from analog to digital, from minimalist to decked out in all sorts of crazy-looking… Read More

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1920s-Style Mugshots of Badly Behaved Celebrities

Another day, another sad celebrity mugshot. From the bedraggled hair to the mortified eyes to the general implication that the subject has been awake for days, these photos are all the same, and poring over them has begun to seem nearly as pathetic as starring in them. But Michael Jason Enriquez, an art director and advertising student, has found a way to make them aesthetically interesting again. For his Mugshot Doppelgänger series, Enriquez used what he calls the “eerie beauty” of 1920s Australian police photos as inspiration “to see what it would look like if you took modern day celebrity mugshots and turned them into something worth looking at.” Click through to see badly behaved celebrities like Mel Gibson, Lindsay Lohan, and Phil Spector given the time-warp treatment, and follow the project on Tumblr for more. … Read More

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A Brief History of Music’s Most Epic Afros

The new Mars Volta album is out this week, and while we’ve not always been able to digest the band’s multi-part prog opuses, we’ve always admired them for at least one reason: their hair. We don’t want to be overly superficial here, but core Mars Volta duo Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López have sported two of the best Afros in music over the last decade or so, and the duo’s hair has inspired serious Afro envy in irredeemably white and boringly straight-haired music journalists like us. So to celebrate the release of Noctourniquet, we thought we’d have a light-hearted look at some of the other glorious ‘fros that have bedizened the world of music over the years. Who did we miss? … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Celebrated journalist, lifelong contrarian, and staunch atheist Christopher Hitchens has died from complications of esophageal cancer at the age of 62. “I personally want to ‘do’ death in the active and not the passive,” he wrote in his recent memoir Hitch-22, “and to be there to look it in the eye and be doing… Read More

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What’s On at Flavorpill: The Links That Made the Rounds In Our Office

Today at Flavorpill, we transported back in time thanks to a few of the titles on BuzzFeed’s list of 35 VHS tapes that your parents wouldn’t let you rent when you were a kid. We watched alternative opening credits for some of our favorite TV shows. We felt sorry for … Read More

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10 Musicians and the Actors Who Were Born to Play Them

Whoever cast Al Pacino as record producer/songwriter/murderer Phil Spector in HBO’s upcoming biopic is a genius. Even though the pair aren’t exactly body doubles (they are both relatively small men), it’s an exciting choice. Pacino has made a career out of playing dark, bizarre, and morally complex characters, from Sonny Wortzik in Dog Day Afternoon and Bobby in The Panic in Needle Park to Angels in America‘s Roy Cohn and Jack Kevorkian. We can’t wait to see what he’ll do with the role of one of pop culture’s greatest contradictions — a man who had the capacity to both make beautiful music and kill. The news of Pacino’s casting got us thinking about other musicians and the actors who were born to play them. Ten of our picks are after the jump. … Read More

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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

1. Green Day’s American Idiot musical has been optioned as a film. Dustin Lance Black (Milk) is in talks to write the screenplay, Tom Hanks is one of the producers, and Michael Mayer — who helmed the stage version — has already signed on to direct. [via Digital Spy]

2. $1 million for… Read More

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Girl Bands and Their Male Svengalis: A History

Since the idea of an all-girl band first appeared in American popular culture back in the Jazz Age, with ladies-only orchestras (think Marilyn Monroe’s traveling band of misfits in Some Like It Hot), music historians have been putting them in the context of the more successful men around them — and often giving those men all the credit for their successes. The svengali mentality became especially prevalent during the days of ‘60s girl groups, when puppet master producer/manager/writers not only controlled the destiny of the girl groups in their stable, but owned the legal rights to them. While punk rock may have gender neutralized music, it didn’t stop us from contextualizing all-girl bands and their importance in terms of the men involved in creating them, writing their songs, or (re)discovering them. After the jump, we examine 10 girl bands and their relationship to the guys who were credited with their success. … Read More

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