I have no clue what has happened on "Big Brother" in the past week, thanks to Time Warner Cable and CBS.
From reading Liane's recaps, I know that Amanda, Spencer and Candice are on the block and from various bits of online scuttlebutt, I know that Amanda has basically gone crazy, while Spencer has continued his long run of variably horrifying comments that CBS is choosing not to air.
And from last week, I remember that it's a double-elimination Thursday (August 8), with the regular vote, as well as the always-unsettling Week of "Big Brother" in an Hour wackiness.
Follow along! And forgive me if I lack the con text for certain things. Blame CBS and Time Warner.
"Did they poison my food? Is it cause I'm a girl? / If I puked up some sonnets would you call me "a miracle?"
Neko Case gets fairly specific -- and, thusly, cryptic -- on her new song "Night Still Comes." This swaying tune brings in soul and gospel elements into its killer chorus, and the large chorus that sings her chorus. "You never held it at the right angle," they sing, never naming what "it" is as she relates how a forest consumes her and the ocean dashes her biggest "plans."
"Night Still Comes" is yet another example on Case's next album "The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You" of slipping her character's gender into the "Fight." On "Man," she took up a male as its subject, but not just any male: a very male-y male, an archetype of manly adages in song. Here, pairing the term "puke" up with "is it 'cause I'm a girl" makes it really confrontational, even if we still have no idea what the hell is going on.
I'll just mark this as another good one from Case, whose "Worse Things Get" is out on Sept. 3 via Anti-. The album features guest spots from M. Ward, members of The New Pornographers, My Morning Jacket, Calexico and more. Full tracklist and tour dates are below.
Here is the tracklist for "The Worse Things Get":
1. Wild Creatures
2. Night Still Comes
4. I’m From Nowhere
5. Bracing for Sunday
6. Nearly Midnight, Honolulu
7. Calling Cards
8. City Swans
10. Local Girl
11. Where Did I Leave That Fire
Here are Neko Case's tour dates:
8/09 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Folk Festival
8/11 – Regina, SK @ Regina Folk Festival
8/24-25 – Monterey, CA @ First City Festival
9/06 – Chicago, IL @ A.V. Fest/Hideout Block Party
9/08 – Portland, OR @ Musicfest NW
9/11 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
9/12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Orpheum Theater
9/13 – Santa Fe, NM @ Lensic Performing Center
9/14 – Denver, CO @ The Ellie Caulkins
9/16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
9/17 – Boise, ID @ The Knitting Factory
9/18 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount
9/19 – Eugene, OR @ The Cuthbert Amphitheater
9/20 – Vancouver, BC @ Orpheum Theater
9/25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
9/26 – New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall
10/04-06 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/05-06 – Los Angeles, CA @ Way Over Yonder Fest
10/11-13 – Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits
10/15 – Lawrence, KS @ Liberty Hall
10/16 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/17 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/19 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
10/20 – St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
10/23 – Nashville, TN @ The Cannery
10/24 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre
10/26 – Durham, NC @ The Durham Performing Arts Center
10/27 – Charlottesville, VA @ The Paramount
11/01 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre
"The Abramovic Method Practiced by Lady Gaga" is a video of the pop star trying to sing a long tone for a very long time, and posing naked, laying on the floor, standing in a creek, and other various eccentric postures and settings.
No, it's not a music video.It's about three minutes of art that you might not "get," the result of a three-day retreat Gaga spent with the famed performance artist Marina Abramovic, spending time on "series of exercises designed to heighten participants' awareness of their physical and mental experience in the present moment." The Institute released the video in an effort to raise awareness of its Kickstarter -- which, in itself, is something to behold.
The "Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) will be the first space dedicated to practicing the Abramovic Method, which prepares participants to both perform and observe long durational work," reads the description from the Vimeo page. Maybe Mother Monster is just trying to up her performance ante when it comes to her next album "ARTPOP?"
This video is not safe for work, in case this needs to be repeated.
"ARTPOP" is out Nov. 22, to be preceded by single "Applause," due Aug. 19.
The wave of quality cable dramas of the last decade has turned into a flood. Everyone's looking for their own "Sopranos," their own "Shield," their own "Mad Men." When you start factoring in streaming video services like Netflix and Hulu (which are both making their own programming and importing terrific shows from overseas), it's inarguable that there are more good dramas than at any point in the history of the medium.
But what's also become obvious of late is just how hard it is to make these shows work. Too many shows have been made under the mistaken belief that all you need to achieve greatness is to follow a familiar recipe. Take imposing character actors as leading men, add anti-heroes in a world full of moral ambiguity, a cinematic look, some colorful dialogue, and preferably some graphic violence, and your would-be "The Wire" will be baked in 35-40 minutes, right?
These shows have the appearance and texture of the greats of past and present, but there's something empty and unsatisfying about them. They tend to lack the ingredients you can't just buy at the store: a distinctive voice and a spark of mad genius. Sometimes, they succeed anyway (Showtime has already renewed "Ray Donovan" for a second season), and sometimes they fail (Starz just canceled "Magic City"), but their separation from the genuine article becomes unmistakable in time. They're the I Can't Believe It's Not Better dramas, and AMC may have another on its hands with "Low Winter Sun."
The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced today that Spike Jonze's "Her" will close the 51st New York Film Festival on Sunday, Oct. 13. "Her" is Jonze's first film since 2009's "Where the Wild Things Are" and his first original screenplay.
Your rock 'n' roll movie might be in trouble if there's too much talking and not enough rocking. That may be the plight of "CBGB," the new film centered on the famed New York city punk club.
Alan Rickman is obviously a big selling point of a film like this, lending credibility and personality to a history that all but burns with personality (and VD). With Hilly Kristal's estate needing to sign off on his visage and all, of course it'd be a "must" to have Rickman's role at the center of this wiry, drug-addled universe. But, here, dish him a line like "Why not live your dreams?". Here's a cockroach crack and a necessary few seconds allotted to CBGB's bathroom. And on top of that, a bunch of actors like Malin Akerman, Rupert Grint, Ashley Greene, Johnny Galecki, Ryan Hurst, Justin Bartha and Bradley Whitford dressed as members of groups like Talking Heads, Blondie, The Ramones, Dead Boys, The Police, Iggy Pop and Patti Smith Group, but without a clue as to how they'll play these awesome punk icons.
I'm not seeing a lot of teeth here. Or the acid-tongues, the sharp sounds or the bleary eyes. I see Halloween (no, not the band) costumes and bits of comedy script. Musical "Rock of Ages" had twice the amount of music in its hairspray-dominated trailers, and we all know how "Rock of Ages" turned out.
The Avett Brothers released a fresh studio album just last year, but when you're on the same groove as Rick Rubin, maybe you get the itch to release at a rapid pace. Which is in part why the group is set to release new album "Magpie and the Dandelion," due on Oct. 15 via Republic.
"While we were working on [2012's] 'The Carpenter,' we were so inspired that we wrote another record as well. During those sessions, we just felt it," the Avetts said in a release. "Working with Rick Rubin again, we tapped into something very special. It's like everybody was in the same zone."
The set is preceded by "Another Is Waiting," which -- astoundingly -- clocks in at just over two minutes long. I can't help but think of this as a mid-tempo, upbeat, new-era Green Day rocker with 100% more banjo. The guitars and banjo split channels and let the electric and drums ultimately taking the lead, with Seth and Scott's harmonies pushed way, way forward. If anything, it's a breeze to listen to.
"If you think about a Magpie, it's a bird from the crow family. You can see them everywhere, and they've got this strange grace. And, we all know what a dandelion is. It reminds you of being a kid and watching a flower come apart on a summer day. There's a youthful wonder in that," the band continued in their note. "Those kinds of feelings live and breathe inside this album."
"The Carpenter" was The Avett Brothers' biggest selling and highest charting album yet, making it to No. 4 on the Billboard 200. "Magpie" will be the folk-rockers' third set with Rick Rubin.