USA Network Is Searching for a New Identity — Will It Find One in ‘Satisfaction’?

The backyard of the Satisfaction set is indoors, which makes it immediately disorienting. The trees look real from afar, but up close it’s obvious that they’re one-dimensional. There are real leaves on the ground, but the grass is artificial turf. All television sets are optical illusions, yet Satisfaction’s, in Atlanta, seems more like a lie than most — which is fitting considering the subject matter. The murky drama follows the troubled relationship of a married couple, examining the ever-increasing list of lies that surround their family, threatening to tear it apart at any second. It looks like it could be the next brooding Sunday-night AMC hit, but it’s actually premiering on USA today. … Read More

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Awe-Inspiring Music Based on Classic Fantasy Stories

Game of Thrones is back this week, and we’re celebrating its return by raising our pitchers of mead and embarking on a week-long feast of all things fantastic (which we mean, of course, in the traditional/geeky sense of “related to the fantasy genre”). Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper party without some music for the bards to play, so we’re commencing the week with a bumper selection of songs and albums inspired by classic fantasy stories. Join us as we put on our robe and wizard hat and set out on an epic quest to create the ultimate sword-and-sorcery playlist!
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Literary Mixtape: The Lorax

If you’ve ever wondered what your favorite literary characters might be listening to while they save the world/contemplate existence/get into trouble, or hallucinated a soundtrack to go along with your favorite novels, well, us too. But wonder no more! Here, we sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters. What would be on the personal playlists of Holden Caulfield or Elizabeth Bennett, Huck Finn or Harry Potter, Tintin or Humbert Humbert? Something revealing, we bet. Or at least something danceable. Read on for a cozy reading soundtrack, character study, or yet another way to emulate your favorite literary hero. This week: Dr. Seuss’ most environmentally friendly creation, the Lorax. … Read More

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

Today at Flavorpill, we learned the story behind this iconic photo from the Egyptian protests. We pitted baby sloths against classic literature. We found it hard to believe that this Black Swan spoof is really a poster for Madea’s Big Happy Family — but then again, it is a… Read More

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Jarvis Cocker’s Tribute to Nature and 5 Other Albums Recorded in Strange Places

In a move that makes us wonder whether he wants us to rock out or take a nap, former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker has partnered up with Britain’s National Trust, an organization that protects and perseveres historic sites in the U.K., to release an album that isn’t so much music as “a collection of recordings and general noise” recorded at the scenic landmarks. According to Cocker, “It’s not really meant to be listened to intently, like a piece of music, but more as something to have on in the background to aid relaxation or contemplation . . . I hope it has the feel of one continuous journey and conjures up an image in the mind’s eye of the places featured.”

National Trust: The Album, which you can download for free here, features 13 tracks that include the noise from creaking stairs, ticking clocks, wind, and the sounds of gardeners working. It’s a response to research showing that 83% of people “say that interrupting sounds make it difficult for them to concentrate” and 88% of people believe listening to bird noises helps them concentrate. After the jump, let us know how the album affects your concentration (that is, if it doesn’t totally put you to sleep) and learn about five other strange records recorded in stranger places. … Read More

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Rocking the Suburbs, or Our Top 10 Moments of Suburban Living

According to Time Magazine’s new “What’s Next in 2009” list (no really, they’ve come out with a relevant, imaginative list this time!), the suburbs are dead. They’re dead because maybe people finally realized that the big lawn-and-cul-de-sac fantasy was a lie. (See: Kate Winslet in Revolutionary Road.) Or, there’s a much more level-headed explanation having something to do with the housing crisis and sub-prime terribleness. Either way, if we’re going to recycle and save these strip malls, we’re going to need some inspiration. So after the jump, we kick things off with our top ten moments of suburban living. … Read More

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