Month: 2 hours

Listen To The Serial Team's New Podcast Before Someone Spoils It For You

It’s rare that I want my long morning commute to last even longer. But this morning, when the conductor announced train delays, I grinned. A couple more minutes on the platform meant a couple more minutes listening to S-Town, the latest true-crime podcast from NPR and the creators of Serial, released this morning.The label “true crime” isn’t quite right for S-Town, though. I’d go with “Southern gothic.”Sure, host Brian Reed ostensibly travels to Bibb County, Alabama, to investigate the alleged murder of a teenager, systematically covered up by members of the rural town. But with its cinematic sense of place, a charismatic character at the podcast’s center, and unabashed use of metaphor (see: hedge mazes with no exits), S-Town is unlike any other true-crime podcast I’ve encountered — Serial and beyond.The podcast begins with a phone call. John Macklemore — the owner of a deep Southern twang, skeptical personality, and curious mind — knows there’s something amiss in his Alabama town, which he calls “Shit Town.”A longtime listener of This American Life, John’s reached out to NPR as a last resort. Like a modern-day Cassandra, only John is concerned with the police corruption, unexplained murders, and socioeconomic decay all around hm. With a tendency toward the dramatic, John likens his impoverished town in western Alabama to Fallujah, Darfur, and Beirut. He speaks with a wry, over-the-top cadence, like he’s spent a life running circles around people and is desperate for someone on his level.When, at last, John thinks Reed is understanding, he exhales happily, “You’re beginning to figure it out now, aren’t you?” Now, John has an audience beyond his only confidant, the town lawyer who’s smart enough to live in Tuscaloosa.Perhaps it’s John himself, not John’s story, that convinces Brian Reed to fly to Alabama and investigate the murder. After all, it’s John’s off-the-cuff storytelling that kept me poised on the edge of my seat.“By sheer force of will, John was opening a portal between us,” Reed says of their hours-long conversations. And that portal leads to John’s world, a small town in Alabama that’s something straight out of Faulkner.So, like any NPR producer who sniffs a story, Reed goes to Alabama. He goes to John’s house, which is only navigable by coordinates, not street names. John’s house has the only hedge maze in Alabama, an old clock repair shop, and about a million bustling projects fueled by his pent-up mental energy. At once, John's the Matilda whose intelligence was never acknowledged by Miss Honey; he’s the old woman in the mansion on the hill, the conspiracy theorist who sees a reality everyone around him is blind to. And he’s entrancing.But is he reliable? And are his stories, and accusations, true?As Reed investigates the murder, he’s also peeling back layers of the caller at the heart of the story. One of S-Town ’s big questions is, of course, who killed Dylan Nichols? But the other is, will John ever get out of his shit town, where he’s as entrenched as the trees and the tattoo parlors and the WalMarts?All six episodes of S-Town are now available to stream. So, in a few hours, the floodgates of spoilers will be open unto the internet. This is our official recommendation to listen now, before someone gets to the end.Read These Stories Next:The Viral Words You Need To KnowSick Of TV? These Shows Will Get You Addicted All Over AgainThe True Story Behind This Scary MemeLike what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?David Beckham Is Almost Unrecognizable In His Upcoming Movie Role Peta Murgatroyd Showed Fans The Reality Of Being A Working New MomChrissy Teigen's Response To Fox News Tagging Her In A Tweet Is Golden

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This Beyoncé & Lady Gaga Songwriter May Be The Most Political Artist In The Age Of Trump

Everyone you love wants Father John Misty, or as his birth certificate reads, Josh Tillman, to work with them. Beyoncé picked some his lyrics to complete “Hold Up,” arguably the best song on Lemonade (okay, but top five for sure). Lady Gaga asked him to write with her, and out came “Come to Mama.” Lana Del Rey put him in her video for “Freak,” a song inspired by their friendship. Even Stranger Things allegedly wanted him in the cast of the second season. So what’s the appeal?[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jq30l5-vBbo]It’s his poetry. The guy writes some undeniably attention-grabbing songs. Like that one he performed on Saturday Night Live that talked about having virtual reality sex with Taylor Swift. It wasn’t a burn, it was a commentary on the public’s access to famous people in a heightened technological state (and, as Tillman explains, Swift rhymes so nicely with Oculus Rift).In the age of President Trump, Father John Misty is about to deliver an album called Pure Comedy that is one you need to listen to if you're unhappy with the state of the nation. It attacks the uninformed citizenry immobilized by religion and prescription drugs while mocking hipsters and hypocrites on the left, all through the lens of his sardonic sense of humor that he calls petulance. While Trump, and in fact no public figure other than Swift (and Amy Grant, but that’s another thing entirely), merits a mention in his lyrics, they are pointedly aimed at our culture. For example, “Ballad of the Dying Man,” which satirizes the often overstated point of view of any one of the white males who offer endless commentary of cable news or engage in the never-ending battles of social media warriors. It’s one of those songs that makes you laugh because it’s true and then sigh...because it’s true.What’s intriguing about his songs is that musically, they’re so familiar. There are elements of blue-eyed soul in his vocals that can be traced to their origination in the halls of Stax and Motown Records. The songs have elements of folk guitar and structuring, overlaid with modern production giving some of them just that hint of electronic that doesn’t verge into EDM territory. It is when they are paired with his lyrics, which are equal parts jocular and dour, that they take on the veneer of monologues by John Oliver or Samantha Bee. His book full of burns how the system, humanity, religion, the patriarchy, and civilization are failing us are unflinching and punctuated with enough wry humor to make you hear the truth underlying the joke about how the world is falling apart.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVaafph6HSQ]Outside of this album, his stance on pop music caught my attention. Naturally, after one writes for Bey, every music site on the internet will want to ask questions about it. His response to Jillian Mapes in a Pitchfork interview, when asked about his experience writing with these women who dominate the landscape, was shocking.“If you think that pop stars are anything other than prisoners, then you are fucking kidding yourself,” he said. “…why do you think that Lady Gaga or Beyoncé would come to old Uncle Jerry over here for songs if they weren’t looking for something? If they weren’t like, ‘Get me away from these fucking psychos.’ Both of them know I’m not running around looking for these gigs.”He then turned around and told the New York Times that the pop music industry “is categorically anti-woman. I know a lot of women in that industry. They were pitched an American narrative about success equaling freedom when there couldn’t be anything further from the truth.”That’s a pretty big coffee mug of what the actual fuck to be serving up, especially considering that Tillman’s debut album as Father John Misty was an outrageous and sometimes misogynistic take on the male psyche in love. But he’s not wrong about how pop music treats its female artists. Put into perspective, I recently read the memoirs of one of the giants of the music industry, Clive Davis (he’s the guy who oversaw the careers of Whitney Houston, Patti Smith, Alicia Keys, and royally pissed off Kelly Clarkson). At the end of his book, Davis reveals that he is bi-sexual and for the last 20 years, after two marriages to women, he has been in relationships with men. If you think he’s an ally, though, let me assure you: he was not. Through his tenure as the head of Columbia Records, Arista Records, and J Records he signed hundreds of artists. He never mentions taking the consideration of how men look into account, but his assessment the looks of every female artist he works with are an important part of the marketing and imaging plan around them. That never changes in how he writes about artists, from the 1960s to the 2000s. It’s irritating as fuck.That’s just how it is, all the time. Seriously. It’s not something Max Martin or Diplo are ever going to acknowledge in a conversation about the women they work with because they probably don’t notice — or don’t care, they’re getting paid either way. We live in a world where a radio DJ felt he could stick his hand up Taylor Swift’s skirt during a meet and greet. Fortunately, we also live in a world where Swift sued him for doing it.Is Tillman an ally to talk about the grinding meat machine that is the pop music industrial complex? Not exactly, but it feels like a relief that he didn’t just answer the question by saying that Beyoncé is an ethereal goddess of creativity and he was #blessed to be in her presence.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Quavo Actually Isn't The Beyoncé Of MigosThe Sexiest Songs Of All TimeHere's Why Adele May Never Tour Again

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GLAAD President: ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ ‘Power Rangers’ LBGTQ Characters Are “a Good Place to Start”

Sarah Kate Ellis says that the public is "hungry for this content."read more

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‘Spider-Man Homecoming’ Star Tom Holland on His On-Set Injury and New Spidey Suit (Q&A)

"We really tried to convey that he's enjoying his superpowers," Holland tells THR about the way his Peter Parker differs from other big-screen versions. read more

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Michael Wolff: How Trump Can (and Just Might) Kill AT&T’s Time Warner Deal

The president’s view on the $85.4 billion merger has been quite un-Republican-like, and he wants to keep his campaign promise, which would mean intervening (and stifling CNN nemesis Jeff Zucker).read more

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‘Bates Motel’ Director Talks Reinventing Hitchcock’s Famous ‘Psycho’ Shower Scene

Phil Abraham discusses working with 'Bates Motel' superfan Rihanna and his high-wire inversion of Hitchcock's most famous scene.read more

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Liam Payne’s First Tweets About His New Baby Are Perfect

Looks like he’s got the hang of nappy-changing already. Last week, One Direction's Liam Payne became a dad for the first time, after his girlfriend Cheryl gave birth to their baby boy. Gisela Schober / Getty Images The pair announced the news by posting this photo of Liam and the baby, who doesn't yet have a name, on Instagram. instagram.com And Liam's caption shows how completely besotted he is with the new arrival. instagram.com View Entire List ›

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Alicia Keys Shut Down Adam Levine's Makeup-Shaming In The Best Way Possible

We don't hide our unabashed love for Alicia Keys 'round here. We've celebrated her songs, her style, her activism, and how she's raising her sons as feminists. She even wrote for us, sharing her personal experiences of training for and kicking ass at the NYC marathon. And, of course, we dig her decision to go makeup-free.But here's the thing about giving up makeup — or, say, high heels or meat or social media: It can absolutely make you a happier, more fulfilled person. Sure it can! But it does not make you a superior person to others who haven't made that choice. If you ditch something because you used to rely so heavily on that it started to mess with how you live your life, and now that you've given it up you feel so much more free/chill/content/whatever, that's really cool. But so is reintegrating that thing back into your life in a healthy way. Or not. Either way: It's totally up to you, and you only.Thankfully, Alicia Keys seems to know this already, as proven by her baller response when Adam Levine called her out for wearing makeup.Levine told Howard Stern that when he spotted Keys, his co-host on The Voice, putting on "a little bit of makeup," he said, "oh, I thought Alicia doesn't wear makeup."Keys' response? "I do what the fuck I want," she clapped back. ZING.Because Keys doesn't subscribe to some dogmatic approach to what people should and shouldn't look like or wear or put on their faces, and neither do we. Instead, it's about beauty as you choose — just for you, on that day, at that specific moment, depending on how you feel."I think what happens in the world, and I think it’s part human nature and part programming, is we become an emulation of what we see," Keys told Glamour this winter. "We become clones of each other. And to break free from that and say, 'Wait, I’m deciding to be my own individual self. And it looks nothing like what anyone else is doing.' There’s something so powerful about being my own gorgeous, beautiful, individual, unique self."And if that includes makeup on occasion: Who fucking cares? (Not, it turns out, Adam Levine. His response to Keys' clapback was "I love you so much." )[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXOr69LqYjQ]Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Kim Kardashian's Hairstyle Is Not A "Bobby Pin Headband"Everyone In Hollywood Uses This One Highlighter — & You'll Never Guess What It IsThe Unexpected Place Cindy Crawford Gets Her Hair Inspiration

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A Mistake At Starbucks Led To This Rogue One Detail

Tatooine, Coruscant, Hoth, Naboo, Kashyyyk, and Geonosis. How does the team at Disney and Lucasfilm come up with these wacky names for imaginary planets? (No, it doesn't employ a team of manatees.) In a new interview with CNN, filmmaker Gareth Edwards revealed that sometimes, make-believe planets can get their names from barista mistakes.Edwards explained that when Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was still in the writing stage, the team was taking turns naming planets (talk about a perk)."I was really looking forward to this. I’m like, ‘Okay, this is a big deal. I’ve got to pick a good name.’ I was like, ‘What do you want me to name?’" Edwards told CNN. "[Gary Whitta, one of the screenwriters] said, 'The end planet.' The whole third-act thing. I was like, 'Okay, let me think about it. Okay, give me a moment.'"When it was his turn, he stumbled on "Scarif" after a Starbucks run. That's right, sometimes work really does get done at the coffee chain."I'm thinking, What could be the name? It could be this. Maybe we could use that? Then, at the very end, she gives me the drink and they must have asked my name and I must have said, 'It's Gareth,' but they heard 'Scarif.' They wrote Scarif on the cup and I was like, 'That sounds like Star Wars,'" Edwards added. "I went back in and I just give it to Gary [Whitta] and went, 'It's called Scarif.'"Who hasn't had their name misspelled at Starbucks? After all, it's not the sort of place where everyone knows your name, so it's not uncommon for humorous misspellings (and a few eye-roll inducing happenings) to pop up. It's not often a barista gaffe gets put into film perpetuity, but this is one time a misspelling is going down in history.Uproxx reports that rabid fans are already jumping on the info. In fact, entrepreneurial Star Wars die-hards are already making merch mashing up the iconic Starbucks siren logo with some Scarif-inspired additions.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Here's A Sneak Peek Of Alicia Vikander As Lara Croft The Ocean's 8 Cast Seriously Struggled To Keep Their Cool In Front Of Rihanna Mandy Moore Hates This "Morbid" Theory That Connects Frozen And Tangled

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Here's A Sneak Peek Of Alicia Vikander As Lara Croft

It's been almost 15 years since fans of action adventure video games got to see iconic character Lara Croft on the big screen, but come 2018, Oscar winner Alicia Vikander will be stepping into Angelina Jolie's former role as the character gets rebooted for a brand-new movie (and a slew of sequels, because obviously). Vanity Fair has the first images of Vikander as ass-kicking Croft — and it'll give Tomb Raider fans everywhere reason to freak out.Much like the world of big-budget Hollywood films, video games aren't immune to reboots. Vikander's Croft isn't just a continuation of Jolie's version. Back in 2013, Ubisoft and SquareEnix, the publishers behind the Tomb Raider video games, started all over with a brand-new take on Lara Croft. Appropriately named Tomb Raider, the game centered on a Lara Croft that was more about survival than sex appeal.The 2018 film, titled Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, should follow the storyline of the 2013 game (and perhaps its sequel, 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider). And with that clean slate comes a new backstory. Instead of just playing a sultry archeologist, Vikander's version will focus on a missing father and forging an identity of her own instead of taking on the family business. As she investigates her father's mysterious disappearance, Croft finds herself on a remote Japanese island with, ahem, a tomb that needs exploring. First production still from the upcoming Tomb Raider movie! #AliciaVikander #TombRaider A post shared by Alicia Vikander (@aliciavikanderdaily) on Mar 27, 2017 at 1:24pm PDT //platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.jsIt's a stark 180 for Vikander, who was last in the period drama The Danish Girl(and Ex Machina before that — talk about range). She's traded in those long dresses for Croft's signature tank top and cargo pants. She embraced the change, though, telling VF that it wasn't just the character, but the physicality that drew her to the role. Lara Croft! #AliciaVikander #TombRaider A post shared by Alicia Vikander (@aliciavikanderdaily) on Mar 27, 2017 at 1:24pm PDT //platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"When I was asked to take on this role I got really excited — Lara Croft is a truly iconic character," Vikander told Vanity Fair. "I think people can identify with her for lots of different reasons, but for me I very much see her as a model for many young women. She's trying to carve out her place in the world and connect her future with her past. She also has a fantastic mix of traits — tough, smart, vulnerable, plus she’s kick ass! She is also uniquely different to other characters I have taken on previously. It's a lot of fun trying to get into Lara’s head and the challenge of getting to grips with such a physical role is an element of this project that I find an absolute thrill."We'll see Vikander take on the island with nothing but her wits (and a bow and arrow) when Lara Croft: Tomb Raider backflips into theaters in March 2018.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?A Mistake At Starbucks Led To This Rogue One DetailThe Ocean's 8 Cast Seriously Struggled To Keep Their Cool In Front Of Rihanna Mandy Moore Hates This "Morbid" Theory That Connects Frozen And Tangled

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