This is low-key the show I've been waiting for all of my life, I think; the end of the second-to-last episode, "Stolen Phone," almost made me lose my burrito. Two more clips after the jump.
LOVING THIS SHOW
this is cool but it goes SO FAST my poor little brain.
How To Read A 223-Page Novel In Just 77 Minutes
Spritz is a company that makes a speed-reading technology which allows you to get through a mass of text, reading every word, in a fraction of the time it would take if you were turning the pages of a book or swiping through a Kindle.
The basis of Spritz concept is that much of the time spend reading is “wasted” on moving your eyes from side to side, from one word to the next. By flashing the words quickly, one after the other, all in the same place, eye movement is reduced almost to zero. All that’s left is the time you take to process the word before the next one appears.
The company is selling licenses for other companies who might want to use the technology in operating systems, applications, wearables, and websites. Obviously, the tiny screen of a smart watch instantly springs to mind.
But the real revelation of Spritz is in trying it yourself.
Um this is awesome
i like this guy!
Popping Up is our recurring look at new artists making noise on the music landscape. Because, hey — Madonna and Britney were once unknown, too.
When you watch Lorde giving one of her trance-like performances, or hear Lady Gaga philosophizing in an interview, it’s easy to think, “Hey, chill out, it’s just pop music.” But if this era of poptimism has taught us anything, it’s that pop music can be just as transportive and transformative as the most subversive rock or euphoric electro or revolutionary rap. I haven’t seen 25-year-old Dutch musician Thomas Azier perform, but after talking to him, it’s clear he also comes from the Pop Is A Very Serious Matter school of thought.
Of course, once you accept the seriousness of the genre, it’s easy to be playful within that framework. For instance, Azier, who has lived in Berlin since he was 19, jokingly refers to his music as GDR&B, as in, R&B spawned in communist East Germany. And he’s right about that — his epic synth-pop debut, Hylas (out March 10), has some of the hooks and raw emotion of R&B, mixed with the synthetic churn and metallic clanging of ’80s European electro.
Azier recently stopped by our New York studio on what was, very literally, the sloppiest day of this disgusting, demoralizing NYC winter, but he handled the slushy trek from Brooklyn to midtown with the stoic efficiency you may expect from a Berliner. We chatted about his debut album, the factory he recorded it in and the thin line between love and pain. Shit got deep. Check out the interview up top, and read on for more about the pan-European pop wiz.
ORIGIN: Azier was born in a small town near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. “There was nothing out there other than a bunch of cows and endless green fields,” he told me. “I don’t know if you ever been to Holland, but you can look kilometers ahead and there’s nothing there. We lived in a town with like 5,000 people. So there was not that much other than my music. That was what I did actually until I moved to Berlin.”
CURRENT HEADQUARTERS: An abandoned bell factory in Berlin, Germany.
EURO PRIDE: ”I really consider myself very European in my sound. And I’m also quite proud of that because I used to grow up with, we are always looking at the UK and the US and we would try to imitate. I was really more excited about what’s happening here and trying to do something with it.” He added: “We have such a rich history in Dutch electronic. Hardcore comes from there, industrial sound, you know. There are guys like Diplo always digging in the Dutch music scene. They are taking stuff and bring it to America. And also the German scene is so rich, the French scene is so rich.”
INFLUENCES: Just as he melds sounds from all over Europe, Azier draws his influences from all over the place, and not necessarily just music. “There’s a lot of stuff. It can be a conversation like the one when we’re having, if I go home and think about some stuff that was interesting,” he said. “Or the architecture in Berlin, the GDR communist architecture really inspires me. And there’s this one book by Ovid called Metamorphoses, it’s all stories about changing, about transforming, the transforming of the body, the transforming of a person. Because that’s the only thing in life we know is true, right? Change, that’s the only thing that will happen. That’s the only thing we can confirm… So that’s what I really started to understand, the process of change during writing the record.”
GDR&B IS NOT GERMAN SEX DUNGEON MUSIC: In America there tends to be a stereotype that, if electronic music is coming out of Germany, it’ll sound like it should be played in a dark basement club full of leather-clad patrons, or perhaps as the score to a slasher flick. Despite his Berlin location and penchant for industrial grind, Azier’s music is warm and melodic, not the stuff of dark, sweaty caves. “You have the hard German club sounds, which I’ll try to combine with beautiful, romantic melodies or a haunting melody,” he said. “I’m just constantly looking for a contrast — cold and warm, aggressive and sweet, electronic and acoustic. So I clash those into each other, that’s what I’m looking for.”
To hear this contrast in action, listen to “Angelene” off his debut album, which pairs tumbling 16-bit bloops with faraway church bells.
DREAM COLLABORATIONS: Production could be on the horizon for Azier, who’s a big fan of hip-hop and R&B’s boundary-pushing sonics of late. ”I feel because I know the process so well, after doing the album, that I’d like to take the helicopter view a little bit for other people, because that’s exactly what I’ve missed over the years.”
WHAT’S NEXT: In addition to touring around Europe for the next six months or so, Azier is already plotting his next release. “I have a lot of new tracks done already. So I’m seeing if I’m gonna use them for next thing, if it’s gonna be part two,” he told me. “We’ll see. There are so many possibilities. I’m writing all the time, it never stops.”
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
VERY HAPPY to hear about the yttling / kurstin / lykke production trio. the lead single is good! not great? i'm still excited for this.
Every song on the album is a power ballad. Like one of those old radio stations. This is a slow dance; a slow burner.
I wrote ["No Rest for the Wicked"] in Sweden when I was packing up my shit, and I’d just gotten out of a relationship and it was a horrible time. I just had the hurt, shame, sadness, guilt, longing. In the verse, I’m referring to myself pleading guilty but I’m referring to all of us.
in case you missed it when popjustice posted a few weeks ago, this is great great great
Remember when Madonna was releasing videos in her early days that depicted a simpler life for a pop star, one spent on the streets of New York, running around with local boys and wearing trendy clothing? Canadian newcomer Kiesza (pronounced Ky-za), a 25-year-old ex-ballerina/ex-Navy member, emulates the fashionable days of Reagan-era street dancing (on the sidewalks of Brooklyn) in her video for “Hideaway,” itself a house track that recalls the best of ’90s club jams.
“Hideaway” comes via indie label Lokal Legend, but give it some time; if Kiesza’s got more delectable dance tracks like this one up her sleeve, we can totally see this budding diva breaking out in a big way, and moving up to more towering heights.
Watch Kiesza’s “Hideaway” video above. The single has an April 14 release date, and it’s truly one of the great new pop discoveries of 2014.
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
i fucking LOVE THISSSSS
pretty rude that looking back at ALL THESE OUTFITS she is like 'mm mm, number 19, what was i thinking'
this is awesome
You've probably heard about the awesome Barneys New York spring ad campaign called "Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters"—it's beautiful, shot by Bruce Weber, and features 17 transgender models. Autostraddle talked to some of the people involved:
Many of the models still approached the project with apprehension. Pogensky explained that although he was intrigued by a major retailer wanting an assemblace of all-transgender models, it also shot up red flags. “I had this image in my head,” he told me, “of a bunch of designers and a creative team looking for the next big thing. How can we shock the world, they were saying. Who can we use?Ah ha! Tr*nnys!”
His fears weren’t actualized during the shoot. “I realized that this team of people had not only done their research, but also really cared about transgender people,” he told me. “All of them, and I do mean all of them were fucking amazing. There was no misgendering, there were no awkward questions, everyone was amazing.”
No sooner had Moscow dolls Lena Katina and Julia Volkova reunited as t.A.T.u. for a performance at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Sochi earlier this month than they just as quickly broke up…again. Hell, there was even supposed to be a new single released by the duo last week! Alas, according to Lena, it was not meant to be for version 2.0 of the “All The Things She Said” singers.
“Hi guys! Unfortunately, we have some bad news for you,” Katina wrote on the duo’s Facebook. “You probably had heard about t.A.T.u. promo tour in Slovakia and Czech Republic. Today all the t.A.T.u. events we cancelled. Including t.A.T.u.’s concerts in Minsk (Belarus) and Moscow.”
Below is Lena’s full post about what she claims went down between her and Julia (hint: if you’re a fan of drama, you’ll be very satisfied), as well as a YouTube clip of her announcement of the breakup. (It’s not in English, so grab your favorite Russian translator.)
Lena wrote the following:
For the reason of incorrect behavior from Julia’s side concerning me, I must announce that our future collaboration has become absolutely impossible. Aside from many crude and hurtful statements made about me, Julia gave me an ultimatum: she declined to participate with me in t.A.T.u. if I do not comply with her and her team in all aspects regarding the creative direction of t.A.T.u.. Otherwise she will find a different red-headed, curly-haired girl to replace me.
Besides that, I was threatened with the fact that Julia, using her close ties to the heads of Channel 1 Russia, will shut down my solo project in Russia. In this instance I consider our future collaboration to be impossible as well as communication between us.
I am sad that our fans’ hopes of a t.A.T.u. reunion will not come true. I hope you understand and I want to say thank you for loving and supporting me always. Thank you.
Are you disappointed that these two couldn’t get it together for their reunion?
Get an eyeful of even more pop music coverage, from artist interviews to exclusive performances, on Idolator’s YouTube channel.
oh fuck yes
“Out Of The Black,” Neneh Cherry‘s lead single off of her first album in 18 years, Blank Project, is a pair-up with Robyn. A remix of the track surfaced last week, but now the drum ‘n’ synth-tinged album version has officially premiered, and it’s quite the entertaining back-and-forth between the two songbirds, who share equal vocal time over the course of five minutes.
Robyn has been on a collaborative tear so far in 2014. The Swedish pixie recorded new music with Royksopp, which is due out this year, and she also plans to tour with the Norwegian electro duo. Last week it was also announced (via Instagram) that Robyn has been in the studio with famed R&B-pop producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Head below to give Neneh and Robyn’s “Out Of The Black” a listen.
shit i'm going to end up liking lana del rey aren't i
Ahead of the February 18 release of Red Bull Music Academy’s film What Difference Does It Make?, one of the documentary’s participants, comeback-kid producer Giorgio Moroder, took part in an interview where he coyly dodged a question about working on Lana Del Rey‘s upcoming LP Ultraviolence.
“I cannot mention the name now because the contracts are not signed, but I’m going to work in the next few days with a very great singer. A great singer,” Moroder said to Digital Spy. “And if you call me in a few weeks I might be able to tell you what it is! It’s one of my all-time favorite singers.”
When asked directly if he’ll be getting any studio time with Del Rey, the 73-year-old musician stated, “I don’t know? Did you read something about that? Well… I have a few singers I’m planning to work with. In fact I started to work a little bit with David Guetta. So… do you know? It’s difficult to answer the rumors, but… maybe. Maybe. I don’t know.”
Moroder clearly keeps up with the charts, as he went on to sing the praises of pop divas du jour like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.
“I think Miley Cyrus is very talented too,” he added. “Apart from the visuals, which you may like or not like, but her music is quite good actually. ‘Wrecking Ball’ is quite a good song and she sang it really nicely.”
Meanwhile, Lana Del Rey recently blurted out (on video) to a fan that her upcoming album Ultraviolence will be released on May 1. “It’s so good that it made me forget about the last record,” she said. “I’m in love with it, there’s something about it.”
Do you think Lana’s LP will have little Moroder magic on it when all is said and done?
lol, paris. yeah i need this whole song right now. i really like the weird giddy-up of the verse...
love them / love this
We’ve already heard Phantogram‘s loopy, churning “Fall In Love,” the jittery “Black Out Days” and the gently swaying “Bill Murray,” but now the duo is streaming their entire album Voices a week ahead of its release. The formula for Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter’s crystalline, hip-hop-tinged electro-pop hasn’t changed much— precise sampling and clinical synths still dominate — but the new LP finds them exploring a few new textures. On “Never Going Home,” Carter takes the vocals and channels Peter Gabriel, while ”Howling At The Moon” exhibits some touches of dancehall and other tracks flirt with dream pop.
Meanwhile, Barthel’s voice is an even bigger star this time around, and it’s as arresting as ever. Voices is out February 18, but you can stream the whole thing right now over at NPR.
This striking series of photographs comes from photographer Daniel Seung Lee. Entitled Corolla, the work consists of simple still-lifes yet by removing the colour in each of the images they become far more interesting and engaging. “[Corolla] is a study on the texture and form of flowers” says Seung Lee and through these dark and subtle pictures he highlights the beauty that exists in each of these plants.
Daniel Seung Lee is a portrait and travel photographer from LA who currently lives and works in New York. More images from this series can be viewed on his website here.
the OG britney
The BPL has a collection of Leslie Jones photos of Shirley Temple's visit to Boston in July, 1938, including her walk through the Public Garden, where she took a Swan Boat ride.
As you can imagine, she was crowded pretty much everywhere she went:
i miss the EDM but fuck her vocal is so awesome on this.
If lead single “Jerk Ribs” and new cut “Rumble” are any indication, Kelis is going for a raw, percussive R&B sound on much-anticipated new LP Food. It’s a major change of pace from her flirtation with EDM on Flesh Tone but you can’t help but feel that this is a more natural fit for the ever-evolving diva.
So what can you expect from Kelis’ latest dish? Well, “Rumble” is another slow burn R&B anthem about that grey area in relationships between love and hate that unfolds smoothly over warm piano and horns. It’s more immediate that “Jerk Ribs”, largely due to the master chef’s emotional vocal that swings wildly between angry and pleading. Get your fill after the jump.
Did Kelis serve another satisfying meal? Have your say in the comments below.
love love love love love trust's first album, but hated their set at paradise last year. he's coming to great scott in april which might be a better venue for him! so maybe i'll go again? anyway, listen.
It’s hard to say whether Toronto’s Trust are the same group that released the debut album TRST in 2012. They’ve gone from being a duo to becoming Robert Alfons’s solo project. And on the two tracks that we’ve heard from the forthcoming Joyland, that album’s dark, gothy pop has become something harder and clubbier and more direct. But maybe that’s a good thing. The new song “Capitol” follows “Rescue, Mister,” and like that one, it’s something like what happened if someone remembered that the word “house” was supposed to be part of the term “witch house.” Listen to “Capitol” below.
Skyler Brickley is a New York based artist who basically makes what looks like destroyed hoods from brightly colored cars from the future. He twists and punches through sheets of supposed metal that could be shipped off to a space junk yard. They are big and fascinating and definitely give you the feeling that his pieces are part of something larger. Maybe a Transformer molted, leaving behind this rippling sheet? No, not really: they’re actually made out of polyethylene terephthalate or FRP, complicated and sturdy plastics that—when painted with automotive paint—appear to be twisted metal.
The work all have great movement to them. They suggest the gesture associated with closing a fist, crumpling a sheet of paper within the palm of your hand. They feel delicate or even water like, still moments of intense movement. Some of the work is stretched until it breaks or seared through with giant dripping holes not too dissimilar from the wounded T-1000 in Terminator 2. Brickley’s color choices add an element of playfulness which is why they feel less straightforwardly automotive and more like that of a speciality car.
His works are big and definitely play within certain casts, as he used to make this series. What he is doing is very new and certainly feels unique and absolutely unrivaled. We had the opportunity to catch them at this past weekend’s Art Los Angeles Contemporary and they are certainly breathtaking in person. We’re not sure if he shows frequently in America as his representation is in Dubai but, if you have the chance, you definitely should seek this work out. It’s even more warping and unbelievable in person.
she's just the fucking best.
The Winter Olympics are not just skating styles, waxing techniques and jump lengths. The Winter Olympics are also deep emotions: interpersonal, national, and global. Millions of TV-viewers are witness to these emotions. Usually, they find their expression in embraces and kisses. You can observe this at the finishing area and during the medal ceremony—teammates embracing each other, winners kissing their partners.
This may be difficult when the Olympic Games take place in Sochi in February. As we know, Vladimir Putin has introduced laws prohibiting gays and lesbians to show their love in public in Russia. Furthermore, it is prohibited to talk positively about homosexuality in public. This is the reason why an increasing number of leaders worldwide have decided to boycott this year’s Olympics. In Norway, the political leadership has rejected calls to remain at home. As a great power in winter sports Norway is in a unique position to flex its muscles in a situation like this. This could have been an occasion for Norway to stand up for the fundamental right to express your feelings towards the one you love.
M Plummer Fernandez is a South East London artist who uses computers to push the boundaries of industrial design. I came across these pieces he made titled Digital Natives where 3D scanned a series of traditional objects and then abstracted and distorted them, turning them into new objects.
Everyday items such as toys and a watering can are 3D scanned using a digital camera and subjected to algorithms that distort, abstract and taint them into new primordial vessel forms. In some cases only close inspection reveals traces inherited from their physical predecessors. These are then 3D printed on a z-corp printer.
Vessels are arguably the lowest common denominator for man-made objects across all cultures, these objects however have no storage function other than to embody the stored digital data that describes them.
What I love about these objects is that they’re not only abstracted physically, but with a unique blend of colors. The faceted gradation really is a beautiful effect which gives each piece a sense of movement. I’m really looking forward to the day where I can buy a “recipe” for one of these vases and then print it out in a matter of hours. DIY will take on a brand new meaning for us all soon enough.
NYC avant-pop duo Cibo Matto went on hiatus almost 15 years ago and it’s been almost two decades since their late-’90s trip hop gem Viva! La Woman and the deliciously weird “Know Your Chicken” video. In that time, the two women have kept busy: in addition to their solo work, Yuka Honda produced albums for Yoko Ono and Martha Wainwright and Miho Hatori contributed vocals to the debut Gorillaz album. Hotel Valentine shows that the two are at their best when they’re working together. They’ve created their own world on Hotel Valentine, which they envisioned as a concept album about the love story between ghosts in a hotel. Technology and age have treated Cibo Matto well — it’s their most polished and mature album yet. You can listen to their comeback album over at NPR.
this is basically my new favorite website.
Until today, I hadn’t watched The Craft since 1997 or so. It was in heavy rotation in friends’ VHS players at the time, but light as a feather, stiff as a board style sleepovers tapered as we got older. Despite the fact that it taught me and young girls everywhere how to “properly” slit our wrists, we should have kept having sleepovers and watching The Craft for a lot of reasons.
First, let’s get the basics out of the way: this movie passes the SHIT out of the Bechdel Test. The protagonists, the antagonists, AND most of the secondary characters are women. It’s about witches which automatically makes it amazing. It’s like My Little Coven: Friendship is Magic!
The key factor that makes The Craft a feminist film is that the four teenagers at the center of the story are paragons of autonomy and self-assuredness. Their senses of self are completely unwavering. They’re not all cool and goth or anything, either. they’re greasy, slut-shamed, pariahs but they enjoy that everyone seems a bit scared of them. Their outcast status earns them a distance from the peers that they further cultivate. Despite being “invisible” to their classmates, the young witches are actually quite powerful, even if no one outside their circle knows it. Metaphorically, the film asserts that a woman doesn’t lose her inner strength just because others (men, especially) don’t appreciate it.
Rare in any portrayal of teenage girls, the witches in this coven all have remarkably mature and well-thought-out goals that they use witchcraft to attain. They’re not all boy-crazy and makeup obsessed – they’re 3-dimensional characters who want things like power, to love themselves, and for others to like them (who doesn’t want these things, really?).
The girls are proud of who they are, and they completely own their identities. There’s even that badass line from the previews where the bus driver tells the girls to “watch out for those weirdos,” to which Nancy proudly replies, “We are the weirdos, mister” with a huge grin on her face.
The Craft is also a testament to female friendship. The four girls are actually not very alike at all. Nancy (Fairuza Balk) has an unstable and undesirable homelife and she puts up walls against the world. Sarah (Robin Tunney) is the new girl in town who seems outgoing and friendly but has a dark past (her suicide attempt). Bonnie (Neve Campbell, 6 months pre-Scream) is a beautiful girl whose confidence is sapped by the scarring that covers much of her body, and Rochelle (Rachel True) (besides defying all odds to be the only person of color in her Los Angeles high school) is a successful and confident diver bullied by some racist little wank played by Christine Taylor. They seem an unlikely clique, but together they’re even more powerful they are individually. They show support in social situations by sticking up for and validating one another. Their energies feed on each other and they help each other grow both supernaturally and as people with support and encouragement.
Even when stuff starts getting weird and out of control, and Nancy goes all wild hair and unfocused eyes, the girls don’t really lose their sense of self. They’re abusing their power, going a bit overboard, but they’re never not true to who they are inside. As the witch who runs the witch supply store says, there is no light or dark magic, it just reflects what’s inside the witch. This setup works perfectly for The Craft’s protagonists, because it paints the power they wield as something that stems from them, rather than a force that possesses them.
Don’t get me wrong, this film does have one-dimensional characters like a racist blonde girl and a dumb-turned-even-dumber jock played by someone who chose to be called Skeet despite being a grown-ass adult. Both these characters get their comeuppance and despite being aryan and male, fail to steal the show from the powerful witch ladies in any form at all. Skeet even gets called out on his sexism, as Nancy spits at him, “The only way you know how to treat women is by treating them like whores!”
Of course there are problematic elements of The Craft. With the near-rape that Sarah experiences, the film flirts with victim blaming; after all, the boy is only trying to rape her because she made him love her with her witchy wiles. But he’s dead about 3 minutes after that, so I’m happy to (mostly) sweep this under the rug.
All in all, The Craft, in all it’s mid-nineties glory, is a bit tame as far as scares go, but it’s a surprisingly solid feminist film in which Skeet Ulrich experiences defenestration at the hands of an angry teen witch. What more can you ask for?
Rotten Tomatoes: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/craft/
i've never been a huge fan of Sophie, but this really is quite lovely.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor has spent the vast majority of her career making dance pop for the U.K. market, sort of like a b-list homegrown version of Kylie. Her new record is a change of direction for her – she’s abandoned dance beats, and has embraced a very stately and grand sort of orchestral pop. It works pretty well for her: She’s always had a prim voice that I never found too compelling in the context of dancey stuff, but fits the orderly, uptight tone of this music. “Runaway Daydreamer” isn’t nearly as deep as it’d like to be, but the melody is just lovely and even if it has the trappings of “mature pop,” it’s still very bubblegum at its core.
Buy it from Amazon.
On Molg H.‘s Facebook, his cover image offers a very specific welcome. “Black Humor For Bad People” it reads in English along with “Humor Negro Para Gente Mala” in Spanish, his mother tongue. You see, Molg H. is a very specific artist whose work is gross-out humor at it’s best. Take a Child’s Play film, multiply it by a Farrelly Brothers script, divide it by Microsoft Paint, then put it in an Internet blender: the result is his work. It is fantastically foul.
You may be familiar with Molg’s work via his very viral comics, ones that portray beauties like grandmothers who wear dead gerbil earrings and killer ice skaters. His artwork is equally fascinating as they are knots of bent lines offering large detailed landscapes of absolute oddity. They are easy to dismiss as yucky but they are so over-the-top and detailed in his own way. They suggest how—because of the Internet and because of popular media and because of whatever—desensitized we are by seeing cartoon decapitations and monsters eating babies and dead, gross shit: Molg H. exists to remind you that, hey, crazy shit happens but even crazier shit can happen.
It’s hilarious, too. Hiss and moan at it all you want but his work is truly spectacular. He’s like a modern John Waters who has turned to illustration instead of film. If the future has proved anything, it is that we’ve all become a little black humored. Is that a bad thing?
this is the best thing i've seen on sartorialist in forever
my girl <3
JoJo, like many other talented artists, has seen her career severely cramped by label bullshit: she signed a seven-album deal with Blackground when she was 12, and then Blackground lost their distribution but kept her in zero-support, zero-release limbo for seven years. After a lawsuit citing her label's repeated breach of contract as well as the NY/CA law that requires minor contracts to be renegotiated after a certain period has elapsed, Ms. Thank God You Didn't Do Hannah Montana is finally free to do her thing and newly in business with Atlantic! In praise of her talents, here's the perpetual jam "Too Little, Too Late," and the terrific Daniel Rossen (of Grizzly Bear) cover is after the jump.
And, for good measure, this great live cover of Alex Winston's "Sister Wife" that she did last year.3 Comments