Monday, February 28, 2011

Seen & Heard: Lady Gaga gets "Born This Way"



It seems to me that my life must have changed when I saw Holy Mountain that first time so many summers ago; for since then, I see allusions to it in just about everything.  Granted, Holy Mountain is itself an amalgamation of religious iconography, so I'll admit it's not too difficult to find a hint of Jodorowsky here and there, but there's something about the make-up, the angles, the mirrored birthing imagery of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" video that screams "someone in the Haus of Gaga has been to the Holy Mountain."  Then again, maybe not.  I mean, if they'd seen it we would be inundated with bizarro astrological acid trips right now, right?  Or, maybe some toiling bit member of the Haus has had as much trouble forcing that head trip onto people as I have, and one day they'll watch it and we'll enjoy a deluge of absolute insanity to trouble the masses.

Real life friends who are reading this:  yes, I still really want to watch Holy Mountain with you.  Call me when you feel like tripping on celluloid.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011



As much as I'd like to ignore Ke$ha, I have to admit the video for her song "Blow" made me have the glitter lolz. If you'd like to see what happens when Ke$ha makes out with unicorns and battles James Van Der Beek (playing himself), you should probably watch it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

In Which Kanye West Definitely Watched Enter the Void...



Above? The video for Kanye West's "All of the Lights." Below? The opening credits for Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Seen & Heard: Radiohead



The album dropped a day early (yesterday), accompanied by press photos and a music video for "Lotus Flower" featuring lead singer Thom Yorke dancing about as he tends to do.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Trivial Pursuit: February 18th Edition

Conversation heart time is over, we're moving on to Cadbury Eggs.  CHOCOLATE EGG HARVEST, bitches!  Get on it!  Get yourself to that corner Walgreens!

Billy Ray Cyrus has gone on record in GQ,  saying that Disney's Hannah Montana "destroyed my family. I'll tell you right now-the damn show destroyed my family ... I'd take it back in a second. For my family to be here and just be everybody okay, safe and sound and happy and normal, would have been fantastic. Heck, yeah. I'd erase it all in a second if I could."  Seems Miley Cyrus has become pretty separate from her dear old dad.  Read the details from the source


Rumor has it that in the wake of his BAFTA lead actor win for The King's Speech, Colin Firth was so drunk he left his award at the bar and went home. [via PopEater]




Mattel's Barbie/Ken break-up publicity stunt has ended.  The fantastic plastic couple got back together with no help from "Ken's"  "online grand gestures"  just in time for Valentine's day.  Those cheese balls.  Pfft.  It'll never last...

Photographer David LaChapelle is suing Rihanna for reproducing his artwork and style in her music video for "S&M."  Rihanna hired director Melina Matsoukas specifically to "create a LaChapelle-esque" video and claims have been made that the storyboards used LaChapelle's work.  The Daily Mail has constructed a neat little compare contrast.  Pastiche or too far?  [via Jezebel]

What has Tyra Banks been up to since the death of her talk show?  Well, aside from ANTM, she's been attending Harvard Business School.  Soon she will be unstoppable and insufferable.  [source]

Detroit will soon have a Robocop statue. [via /Film]

Actress Adrianne Palicki (Friday Night Lights, Women in Trouble)  has been cast as Wonder Woman in NBC's David E. Kelley series.  Yes, I'm a little worried about the whole thing.  [via /Film]

If you missed everything:  The Grammy Awards happened.  Lady Gaga arrived in an egg, whipped her hair all around, and won some stuff. The veins in Eminem's forehead almost blew.  Mick Jagger is still a better entertainer than a lot of people.  The Arcade Fire brought home the big prize, confusing all of mainstream America.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seen & Heard: Britney Spears



Alright, guys.  So, I kind of like some Britney Spears here and there.  I admit this.  But, uh, if she's actually trying to stage a comeback in the current pop environment, she has got the video aspect all wrong.  

After building up the premiere for her  "Hold it Against Me" music video for the last couple weeks, we can now see what all the fuss was about:  selling perfume, cheap effects and cinematography, dance fighting, promotional spots for Plenty of Fish ("Telephone" homage?), and a whole lot of nonsense that feels almost uncomfortable to watch.  I'm seriously befuddled.  I mean, I don't expect much from B. Spears or her brand of music video, but this is exceptionally poor.  What the hell is going on here?  Space footage?  Make-up product placement?  Giant wedding dresses?  Pastel Easter egg dye?  80's metal sci-fi font?  Sony?  Ending with a giant question mark?  Is this actually supposed to look like it was shot without direction?  Is this like the time she threw a Titanic reference in that made absolutely no sense with the song?  So many questions.  I feel like we're going to have to take this apart scene by scene at a later date.  Clearly, everything that's wrong with it may be Britney asking us if we're going to hold it against her.  Stupid faux-meta confusing brain melt detritus.

Ad: Willem Dafoe Sells You Whiskey



Willem Dafoe somehow illuminates the connections between drinking Jim Beam and making bold choices in this truly bizarre, oddly sentimental bit of advertising. I'm honestly not sure how an ad campaign can feature sumo wrestler Dafoe, Lagerfeld Dafoe, and carnie Dafoe while still maintaining a bit of gravitas, but somehow it happens.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Criterion Moves to Hulu (for real this time)

A long while ago, I reported that Criterion titles were seeping onto Hulu.  This happened, but in minuscule numbers not worth mentioning.  Really, Hulu was essentially just a holding area for all the Zatoichi films.  Now, however, that game has changed.  Today, the Criterion Collection added 150 films available to watch instantly on Hulu Plus.  Over the coming months, that number will steadily increase to include the over 800 films in the Criterion library.  What this means is that right now there are art house films available to watch on Hulu that don't even have a DVD release (!!!!).   Yes, it's a cinephile's total wet dream.   Yes, I'm pretty much planning on signing up for Hulu Plus now.  Yes, I realize how few of you will care.

You might, however, be interested to learn that in the fine print, it seems Criterion is severing its ties with Netflix by the close of the year.  Why?  Well, because Netflix Instant really is a pain in the ass, and the company as a whole offers you no way to search for the collection as a whole (which, if you're looking for one, usually goes hand in hand with the other).  If you know nothing about the Criterion Collection, what you must understand is that its a serious prestige thing.  The editions they release of world cinema's absolute classics are the definitive versions and there's a reason why people are still more than willing to shell out $35 for a single film on DVD.  When Netflix doesn't make their titles easy to find, they have earned their right to diva out (for those curious, Blockbuster does differentiate).  That said, Hulu's $7.99 subscription price sounds like a pretty amazing deal for a ridiculous amount of film geek access.  Kind of excited...

Monday, February 14, 2011

New Radiohead Album Arrives Sooner Than Expected...

We knew Radiohead's 8th full-length studio album was slated to drop sometime in 2011.  What we didn't know was that the wait wouldn't be so long.

Turns out that the album The King of Limbs will be available for digital download THIS SATURDAY, February 19th.  While they seem to have dropped the "pay what you want" concept used on In Rainbows, the MP3 price offered isn't too serious.  On the pricier side, the physical copy, being touted as the *first* 'Newspaper Album' is available for pre-order and release on May 9th; but that's of little consequence.  For all practical purposes, however: brand new Radiohead in less than a week.

Check it out at thekingoflimbs.com.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

DANCE PARTY!!!


...and now it's Saturday night and we have a dance party with Savage Skulls and Douster (featuring Robyn, of course!).  [Via Ed via Erin]

The Trivial Pursuit: February 12th Edition

A day late, but here's your weekly wrap-up.

Lindsay Lohan is in more trouble.  Just when you thought she was safe, she received a felony theft charge alleging she'd swiped a $2,500 "one of a kind" necklace from a Los Angeles jewelry store.  The owner spotted Lohan wearing the necklace in a tabloid photo, but Lohan is claiming the store had granted her permission to borrow the jewelry (as frequently happens with celebrity endorsements).  Amazingly, she's still apparently sartorially relevant.  The $575 white dress she wore to her arraignment totally sold out from online retailers following Lindsay's trial.  District attorney Danette Meyers is reportedly demanding that any plea deal for Lohan involve jail time.  Meanwhile, it would seem that not everything may be kosher with the accuser.  The jeweler has reportedly changed her story several times, and the store's security footage is ambiguous.  Past this, the necklace is reportedly worth significantly less than the $2,500 sticker price.  Supposedly a small enough number to get Lohan a misdemeanor charge if found guilty instead of a felony. Personally, and this may sound horribly naive, but I think something is really fishy here.  Just as with the assault charge, this sounds like tabloid fodder to me. [source 1, source 2]

Inevitably, Ashlee Simpson has filed for divorce from Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, citing "irreconcilable differences."  The pair, married since 2008, have no prenup and a 2-year old son, Bronx.  Simpson is requesting joint custody of the child.  Guess we won't be seeing as much of her around Chicago... [via TMZ]

Olivia Wilde and husband Tao Ruspoli have separated after 8 years of marriage.  Wilde eloped with filmmaker (and son of Italian royalty) Ruspoli at age 18 in a secret ceremony held on an abandoned school bus.  Now, at age 26, the Tron: Legacy star is stepping out and leaving her 'princess' title behind. [source]


Elizabeth Taylor has been in the hospital for the past several days.  The 78-year old legend is being treated for congestive heart failure. [source]

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's role in the third of Nolan's Batman films is rumored to be Alberto Falcone (aka The Holiday Killer), estranged son of Gotham crime boss Carmine Falcone. [source]

3-months into their marriage, Katy Perry and Russell Brand are reportedly shopping for a marriage counselor. [source]

In a move that only makes me love him more, Prince booted Kim Kardashian off stage while performing at Madison Square Garden this week.  After being invited up on stage by the Purple One to dance, Kimmy failed to deliver the goods and just sort of stood their awkwardly laughing.  This was no good, and Prince gave her the boot, hollering "get off my stage."  Prince does what he wants. [source]

As expected, Julie Taymor's Spider-Man musical has been accumulating scathing reviews.  The show was set to open on February 7, and now isn't opening until March 15, this, however, didn't stop theater critics from banding together and letting loose a snarky deluge in time for the original release date.  Lucky for you, there's a little video you can watch that recaps all the highlights of the low, low blows. [via /Film]


RIP: Tura Satana, 72-year old lead actress of 1965 cult film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! [source]

Weezer Sells Insurance?



Alright, so, I was never a huge Weezer fan.  As a teenager, you know, I went through a little bit of that phase.  I liked "Buddy Holly" as much as the next pre-emo kid and I'm pretty sure I've got a copy of Pinkerton floating around somewhere, but, you know, I was never really upset as they progressed further and further down the road to pure radio pop rock and YouTube viral blow-outs.  Weezer seems to be collecting pop cultural detritus.   The "Pork & Beans" video, the Lost referencing Hurley album, and now...their own rendition of the State Farm jingle.  If your first reaction is "man, Weezer is really selling out" then congratulations, you're officially both behind the times and too nostalgically delusional about Rivers Cuomo and company to be at all realistic.  There's an absurdity level that comes with the State Farm jingle that almost makes this selling out hardcore.  They went for it, and the result sort of manages to mock the basic idea of their past 'artistic' relevance while actually making a pretty decent song out of a very silly couple lines we all know.

True Weezer fans:  how does this make you feel?

Seen & Heard: Crystal Fighters and Toro Y Moi


Two songs that would likely work as well for hipster snow days as hipster summer days.  I'm enjoying the Crystal Fighters track "At Home" and their sort of quaint (but not twee) synth take on across the pond folk.  Is a rather charming track, though the video makes me really wish I were able to reach into the screen and take scissors to the hair of like all of those dudes...

On the opposite side of things we have Toro Y Moi, the pseudonym of musician Chazwick Bundick.  I don't know enough about him to tell you if that's his real name, but if I were him I'd definitely prefer to be referred to as Toro Y Moi.  The thing about Toro Y Moi is that it feels like I've read the name everywhere lately.  So, when I saw a video for "New Beat"  I watched it.  Honestly, I sort of hate the video.  I'm not sure why, but it could have something to do with loathing the smell I know goes along with winter jackets, cold air, and smoke-filled environments.  The music?  Just another chillwave album.  I'll stick with Washed Out, thanks.

Toro Y Moi - "New Beat" (Official Video) from Urban Outfitters on Vimeo.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Seen & Heard: Neon Hitch



In keeping with this morning's pop music focus and the previous mention of Lollapalooza (btw: rumored headliners this year are Eminem, Foo Fighters, and Muse...aka: incredible disappointment (what are they thinking!?)), I offer up Neon Hitch. M. and I caught the up and coming British popster last summer at the fest and thought she was a sort of midpoint between Ke$ha style spoken sleaze and early Nelly Furtado.  Seeing her, and the energy she brought to her teeny tiny side stage, we suspected we were seeing a preview of someone who could become the next big Top 40 thing.  Then, we all but forgot about her as she was essentially a debut non-entity on the internet.  Now, Neon Hitch has surfaced with her first official music video for a track called "Get Over U."   It's...a pretty standard girl pop song.  I'm not in love with it, but it's sort of got that catchy emotional component that suggests it could start sneaking up the charts. 

What am I telling you then?  I don't know.  I don't think this is an endorsement, but it may be more of a 'look at this, people, i've got this feeling...' thing.  Give it time...

Novelty Treats: Ricky Gervais was a New Wave Pop Star



Ricky Gervais has, on numerous occasions, gushed to the world of his deep love for David Bowie. This is, of course, one of the reasons why I kind of love him.  What I did not know, however, was that in 1984, Gervais actually took a stab at becoming Bowie-esque prior to getting into comedy.  Gervais was in a New Wave band called Seona Dancing.  No, I have no idea what the hell kind of name that is.  The point is, a prettier, carefully coiffed Gervais once had this single "Bitter Heart" unironically hit #79 on the UK charts.   I don't need to add anything else...it speaks for itself.  [via Salon]

Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" Debut



The song Elton John supposedly pronounced to be "the gayest ever"  (source) was released amidst much build up and fanfare this morning.  The title track off Lady Gaga's next album, "Born This Way" is now available for your listening pleasure and, I must admit, I'm so glad it bears absolutely no similarity to the rock ballad "You and I" she played for the crowds last summer at Lollapalooza.  I have to disagree with Sir Elton, however.  It will certainly be a club anthem, a Glee anthem, a more pumped up alternative to Madonna's "Express Yourself"  etc etc, but I have a whole playlist of late 80's/early 90's Bronski Beat and Army of Lovers that easily (and I say this with the utmost affection) surpass "Born this Way" in the race for things which may or may not be "the gayest ever."   Anyhow, this is what the radio will sound like for the next four months, kids.  This and the return of B. Spears.  Resistance is futile.

Trailer: X-Men: First Class



Though I have a strong affinity for the X-Men, my excitement for their cinematic ventures withered after the god awful X3 and died with the positively absurd X-Men Origins: Wolverine.   That said, I've been really reluctant to weigh in on this summer's old school reboot X-Men: First Class.  Now, the trailer has arrived, and I must admit, barring quite a bit of slow motion/dramatic arm extending, it looks like a significant improvement over the last two.  James McAvoy (Adaptation) stars as a young Charles Xavier, the excellent Michael Fassbender takes up the gauntlet for a pre-Magneto Erik, Jennifer Lawrence from Winter's Bone (which now must always be read in a Wayne's World manner) becomes Mystique, January Jones is Emma Frost, and Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, A Single Man, Skins) is Beast.  I'm going to let myself be just a little excited about all of this.  Compared to this summer's other comic based films (Captain America, Thor, Green Lantern) it's thus far the contender that appears to have the least amount of misplaced absurdity.  We shall see when it's released early this June.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Trailer: Ceremony



27-year old director Max Winkler may be best known as Son of Fonzie (Henry Winkler), but that's about to change.  His debut feature Ceremony, starring Uma Thurman, Lee Pace, and Michael Angarano, made the rounds at film festivals in 2010 and has already been on the receiving end of quite a bit of love.   It looks a bit like the perfect marriage of Anderson/Baumbach with Apatow to me, and there's nothing wrong with that.  Ceremony follows an aspiring author on his quest to break up the wedding of the older woman he's in love with.  The film hits theaters in April, but will be premiering on demand in early March.  I'm totally ordering it...

Seen & Heard: Rihanna, Happy Camper


For all my Rihanna criticisms, I do like her style.  Past that, I really do like this song.  "S&M" is a single that actually works with Rihanna's strained bleat while maintaining instrumentals you can actually dance to.  Oh, Rihanna, trying so hard to be edgy but operating only on Heatherette/LaChapelle style edgy lite.  The video is provoking all sorts of silly controversy this week from the Puritanical decency boards and such concerned that the popster is getting too hot for television.  Seriously, guys?  A few ball gags and the kids are corrupted?  Get over it.  This video is fun.

On the other side of the spectrum, Happy Camper's video for "Born With A Bothered Mind" is a huge attack of the cute.  You should watch it.  It has an cartoon yeti going camping.

The Trivial Pursuit: February 4th Edition



The White Stripes have broken up.  So it is.  [source]

RIP: John Berry.  Perhaps best known as the man behind the instantly recognizable James Bond theme music, composer John Berry passed away at age 77 of a heart attack this week.  [source]

In really disappointing award show news, Gwyneth Paltrow will continue her journey down the musical novelty highway with singing appearances at both the Academy Awards and the Grammys.  The Grammy performance will be alongside Cee-Lo and the Muppets.  She is not deserving of this.  [source]

Bruno Mars, that singer who I find really boring, struck a plea deal following his arrest for cocaine possession in September.  He won't be going to prison, but he'd better stay away from the drugs. [TMZ]

I'm worried about Outkast's Andre 3000.  He told Ke$ha he dug her flow.  [source]


Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg showed up to surprise The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg at his SNL hosting gig.  After seeing him in action, I'm convinced that there's almost no way he's as witty as Aaron Sorkin wrote him.  Also, thank god they didn't ask him to play himself in the movie. 

James Franco will be teaching a course built around his own personal experiences as actor and director at Columbia College Hollywood.  No, it's apparently not even part of those graduate degrees he's pursuing. [source

Your next Superman has been cast.  Actor Henry Cavill (that's him pictured), who has previously starred in Showtime's The Tudors, will be putting on the cape for Zach Snyder's go at the franchise.  [via Deadline]

Kim Kardashian, in another display of hypocritcal idiocy, reacted to the nude shots she took for W Magazine's prestigious art issue by flipping out.  First she freaked out, calling the shots "Serious porn!" Then, after W defended the shots and ever journalistic outpost with half a brain called her out as lucky (since she's basically not even being worth W's time), and completely undeserving of being the subject of artist Barbara Kruger's collaborative efforts.  Of course, today, Kimmy changed her tune, stating ""W Magazine is iconic so I'm really happy that I did it and that those are the photos." [source]  Of course.  Word of advice, KK:  if you take off your clothes for the camera, you can't be shocked when you see the pictures and you're naked.  Additionally: I'm really not impressed with these pictures.  See them uncensored here.  



The Vanity Fair 2011 Hollywood Issue cover has arrived.  Yearbook photo of youth randomly featuring Robert Duvall anyone?
[From Left to Right: Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, James Franco, Jennifer Lawrence, Anthony Mackie, Olivia Wilde, Jesse Eisenberg, Mila Kunis, Robert Duvall, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Andrew Garfield, Rashida Jones, Garrett Hedlund, and Noomi Rapace.]

The Screen Actors Guild Awards happened, they were beyond boring.  The winners were as follows: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: "The King's Speech"
Best Actor: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, “Black Swan”
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, “The Fighter”
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, “The Fighter”
Best Stunt Ensemble: “Inception” (presented on the red carpet)
Best Actress in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin”
Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries: Al Pacino, “You Don’t Know Jack”
Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series: “Modern Family”
Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Betty White, “Hot in Cleveland”
Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Best Ensemble in a Drama Series: “Boardwalk Empire"
Best Actress in a Drama Series: Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
Best Actor in a Drama Series: Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Best Stunt Ensemble: “True Blood”


Last but not least:  this is Russell Brand in high school.

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