This weekend’s episode of Austin City Limits featured a performance from Father John Misty’s J. Tillman. With accompaniment from a 22-piece backing ensemble, including the ACL Orchestra, Tillman delivered a five-song set pulling mostly from his 2017 album, Pure Comedy. He played “Pure Comedy”, “Ballad of a Dying Man”, “When the God of Love Returns There’ll Be Hell to Pay”, and “A Bigger Paper Bag”, before concluding his performance with the title track to 2015’s I Love You, Honeybear. You can replay the full episode — which also included a set from Austin’s own The Black Angels — up above.
Tillman has promised a new Father John Misty album for 2018.
Ballad of a Dying Man
When the God of Love Returns There’ll be Hell to Pay
A Bigger Paper Bag
I Love You, Honeybear
It’s been almost three years since Swedish folk troubadour The Tallest Man On Earth dropped his last LP, 2015’s Dark Bird is Home, but the musician born Kristian Matsson recently resurfaced to regale the audience at På Spåret, a quiz show in his native country, with a cover of Adele’s “When We Were Young”. Backing him is the Swedish pop group Augustifamiljen, who provide a bombastic soundtrack to his scratchy, soaring vocals. Watch it above.
In 2017, Matsson released a collaborative EP with New York City’s yMusic, and dropped a few beautiful singles—“Rivers” and “Time of the Blue”—the year before that. These days, he’s staying busy with his “The Light in Demos” YouTube series. Below, watch him cover Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”.
Photo by Philip Cosores
Coachella just shared its 2018 lineup and, like moths to the flame, the douchebags have commenced their long, sweaty pilgrimage to Indio. Take this “electronic music producer,” who, through “a high level industry friend,” has procured artist passes for the festival and is looking for “two beautiful women” to bring along. It’s cool, though, because he’s “not some creepy dude that’s going to lurch on you.” You just have to promise to literally never leave his side throughout the duration of the festival.
This request comes in the form a Craigslist ad, and it’s a mess from the very beginning. “I hate to sound like a douchebag,” he begins, “but my brand of music is going to change mainstream electronic music forever.” Oy.
He goes on to outline the “rules” for any women interested. These include a distaste for Diplo, an age range of 21 to 24, and a “one-paragraph review” of one of his songs. “Even if somehow you think it sucks (I promise it won’t), I want you to be able to talk about my music when we’re around industry people,” he writes. “It probably will sound better coming from two beautiful women than from one socially awkward dude.”
Applicants are required to send “recent” photos that will then be judged by this guy’s “two best male friends,” whose judgement he trusts “because of the...
The Sunday Matinee takes a look at a classic or beloved film each weekend. This week, Clint Worthington revisits David Bowie’s debut role two years after his tragic passing.
It’s been two years since David Bowie left us for his home planet, and we haven’t been the same since. Like Thomas Jerome Newton, the protagonist he portrays in Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 sci-fi cult classic The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie burst onto the pop-culture stage seemingly out of the wilderness, a challenging and idiosyncratic performer who scratched heads as much as he blew minds. From his chart-topping, experimental albums to his equally ambitious film and TV work, Bowie’s status as a cultural icon was (and remains) inimitable. Right out of the gate, in his debut role in The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bowie capitalized on the androgynous, gender-bending charisma that made him a rock sensation to tell a sensitive, personal story about cultural decline and the alienation of celebrity, one which also serves as a fascinating mirror into his own sense of stardom.
Loosely adapted from the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, The Man Who Fell to Earth follows Newton, a traveler from a mysterious alien planet plagued by drought, to the third rock from the sun in search of water. His plan: to become a billionaire tech mogul (think Ziggy Stardust meets Elon Musk) using the patents to various advanced technologies he brings with him, then using that...
By most standards, Kendrick Lamar is one of the greatest living rappers. He’s got three masterpiece albums to his name — including last year’s DAMN. — and his live show has only gotten better with time. His songs are vivid, poignant, and brutally honest narratives of the black experience, a celebration of black excellence, and perhaps more than any other rapper, a rebuke of the white oppressor now occupying the White House.
And yet if you ask fellow rapper Lupe Fiasco, Kendrick is vastly overrated.
In a series of since-deleted tweets, Lupe compared Kendrick’s lyrical abilities to those of “1-800-273-8255” rapper Logic. “I’ll put it to you like this. K. Dot is not a top tier lyricist to me and my standards when it comes to punchlines and bars,” Lupe argued. “His overall lyrics are good, his stories phenomenal, but punchline entendre lyrically I don’t see it.”
When a Kendrick defender responded to Lupe by saying “Look Out For Detox” “destroys” any of his tracks, Lupe replied, “I’ve never been destroyed. Also the only issue that the world thinks I have with K. Dot and I actually do is that I think his ‘Control’ verse was wack and super overhyped to be a verse claiming you are the best rapper. It was very weird. I was told it was just bait, but still.”
Flight of the Conchords are set to embark on a tour of the U.K. and Ireland this March, a continuation of their reunion tour dating back to 2016. It appears Jemaine Clement and Bret McKenzie will also filming a new HBO special timed to those dates, Indiewire reports.
“It should be fun,” Clement said of the special during FX’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday. “We’ve done some of [the material] before, some of it will be new. Some of it we’ll be working on in the next few months.”
He continued, “We’ve grown up. We’re not the characters from the TV show, in real life we’re dads now and listen to different kinds of music. The trickiest thing about touring again is getting used to your instrument again. Usually, I take my guitar in the van on the way to work to get used to it.”
As of now, there’s no word on when the special might air. In a statement to The AV Club, HBO said a deal with Clement and McKenzie was still being finalized.
Indiewire’s report also touches on some of Clement’s upcoming projects, which include a U.S. television adaptation of the breakout New Zealand horror comedy What We Do In the Shadows. According to Clement, he’ll be helping write a pilot that’s set to shoot later this year. He will not, he confirmed, be...
During a taping of James Corden’s Late Late Show back in August, Denis Leary dove way back into his own personal comic archives. Despite dressing the part of Donald Trump in a drab suit and shabby wig, Leary, now 60, didn’t look a day older than he did when he shot No Cure For Cancer, the vinegar-soaked one-man show that launched his comedy career 25 years earlier. And judging from his performance alongside Corden, unshaven and decked out in a white pantsuit as Trump’s favorite political target, Hillary Clinton, the special’s material has aged almost as well.
When Leary penned No Cure For Cancer’s waltzy novelty hit “Asshole” alongside Chris Phillips, it was never meant to take down heads of state. But reworking the song’s verses around the countless follies of our current Blowhard in Chief, the song proved to be as much sanguine fun today as it was in 1992. “Asshole” is still a sneering indictment of first world slobbery and modern man’s vices, but it’s probably more on-point now than Leary could have ever imagined. “Asshole” remains an unflattering portrait not just of the common American man, but unbelievably the most powerful man in the free world. In 2018, it’s Trump who has the hard-on for football, porno, and war (books about the subject, probably not). And with roughly half the country in the president’s pocket, he’s hardly alone these days.
No Cure For Cancer’s caustic spirit not only hasn’t waned...
The CW’s breakout hit romantic-comedy-musical Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has prided itself on being female-forward, and justifiably so. That being said, creator/star Rachel Bloom and showrunner Aline Brosh-McKenna take the time to make its male characters just as dynamic, fleshed out and gut-bustingly funny as fan favorites like Rebecca Bunch and Paula Proctor. Nowhere is this more evident than Pete Gardner’s bisexual, middle-aged goofball Darryl Whitefeather, and in tonight’s mid-season premiere, “Nathaniel Needs My Help!”, he once again proved his value as one of the show’s greatest scene stealers.
Fresh from his amicable breakup with White Josh over his desire to have a baby, Darryl spends the episode poring over a catalog (Paula helpfully calls it his ‘hooker book’) of potential egg donors for his sperm. Even divorced from his fan-favorite pairing with WiJo, Darryl’s committed to following his dream of fatherhood, a refreshing move for a show filled with people constantly questioning their destinies. For Darryl, his last great hurdle was coming out of the closet; once he started “Getting Bi,” Darryl has approached his life with a straightforwardness and dedication that the rest of the Rebecca bunch (see what I did there?) should admire.
In fact, this episode presents a perfect example of Darryl’s warmhearted openness and joie de vivre, in his momentary moment of crisis when Paula makes him question the strength of his sperm. “What if my guy stuff is bad?” he adorably pouts. Luckily, one test (and two magazines)...
Photo by Vic Berger
Every day, President Donald Trump blasts out tweets that make America look petty, vindictive, and just so, so excited to engage in nuclear war. This has led a vocal contingent of Twitter users to call for the dickbag to be banned, especially in the wake of the neo-nazis, white supremacists, and hatemongers that the platform’s finally got around to removing, many of whom praised Trump for the numerous “dog whistles” he blew in the wake of the 2017 Charlottesville march. If he’s going to spout off, at least let him do it on White House stationary. Or on Gab, which only assholes use.
It was highly unlikely that such a high-profile company to ever would ban him, but so long as they refused the address the situation there remained the chance that, one day, they might make it easier for us not to live in constant fear of our president’s fat-ass fingers.
Alas, it is not to be. Today, Twitter dropped a new blog post that, hilariously, refused to name Trump as it defended its decision not to ban “elected world leaders.”
“Elected world leaders play a critical role in that conversation because of their outsized impact on our society,” the post reads. “Blocking a world leader from Twitter or removing their controversial Tweets, would hide important information people should be able to see and debate. It would also not silence that leader, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion...
Four members of Polish death metal outfit Decapitated were scheduled to face trial in Washington this month on charges of rape and kidnapping. However, just 11 days before the trial was set to being, Spokane County prosecutors have now decided to drop all charges.
Band members Waclaw Kieltyka, 35, Michal Lysejko, 27, Rafal Piotrowski, 31, and Hubert Wiecek, 30 were standing accused of holding two women against their will on their tour bus last August. While one woman managed to escape, the other said the four men brutally gang-raped her and forced her to perform sex acts on them.
Today, Spokane County prosecutor Kelly Fitzgerald filed a motion to drop all the charges without prejudice, leaving the door open for future prosecution. The motion cited the victim’s “well being” and “the interest of justice” as reasons for the dismissal. “This has been traumatizing to her,” Fitzgerald said, according to The Spokesman-Review. “It’s obviously something that is a multiple defender case, and it would be a lengthy trial. We’ve discussed with her and her advocates and feel at this time it’s best for her to heal.”
However, attorneys for the band point to newly admitted evidence and a weakening case as the true reasons the charges was dropped. Besides the women’s own testimony, much of the prosecutors’ case was based on observations police made at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center on the night of the alleged rape. They noted “significant bruising to her upper arms consistent with...
Paul Haggis, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter behind Million Dollar Baby and Crash (the latter of which he also directed), has been accused of sexual misconduct by four women, according to a new Associated Press report. Two of the victims claim the Hollywood veteran raped them.
The first accuser, named in court documents as publicist Haleigh Breest, has filed a civil lawsuit against the Haggis, alleging that he raped her after luring her back to his Manhattan apartment following a film premiere back in 2013. Haggis has denied Breest’s rape allegation in a counter-complaint, suggesting that her demand of a $9 million payment settlement was a form of extortion.
Despite his denial, Breest’s lawsuit has since inspired three additional women to speak up about their disturbing encounters with Haggis, all of which took place between 1996 and 2015. In each of their accounts, Haggis was painted as a Hollywood predator, whose MO involved inviting women early in their careers to “private or semi-private places under the guise of discussing productions or a subject of a professional nature,” as AP notes. When his sexual advances were refused, he’d often turn aggressive, said two of the women.
One of the new accusers said she was assaulted while working as a publicist for one of Haggis’ TV shows in 1996. During a supposed meeting over press photos, the woman, then 28, claimed Haggis began kissing her. “I just pulled away,” she told AP. “He was just glaring at me and came at me...
A great many Westerns have concerned themselves with the brutality of the developing frontier, but typically from a singular perspective: that of the white settlers, attempting to tame what they perceive to be a savage territory. Hostiles, Scott Cooper‘s bleak and often brutally violent journey through the American Southwest circa 1892, challenges these notions, at least up to a point. For a genre with so many badly-aged historical examples of noble heroes and barbaric natives, the Western has always also considered American’s true first citizens an integral part of the process of westward expansion, however crassly. Here, Cooper manages to find intermittent moments of truth about the horrors which the other half had to endure, even if his story succumbs to the same outsider’s gaze as often as it finds new insights.
Near Fort Berringer, a prison in New Mexico, Capt. Joseph Blocker (Christian Bale) is tasked with a nightmare mission for somebody as war-worn as the years have left Blocker: escort Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi), a Cheyenne chief, back to his family’s sacred lands in Montana. Yellow Hawk is dying of cancer, and wants to perish in the traditional way, on his tribe’s own land. Blocker, a virulent racist and a man who’s done substantial battle with the Cheyenne and other native tribes in his own time, insists to his superiors that he’s hardly the man for the job, but his pension is held over him, and soon Blocker and a...
Before I Wake almost never saw release in the U.S. Originally slated for a May 2015 release and subsequently bumped to 2016 before disappearing entirely, the horror film remained a curious case: Why was a genre flick directed by rising filmmaker Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Gerald’s Game) and starring Oscar nominee Jacob Tremblay wasting away on some studio shelf? It eventually was released in the U.K., but, as recently as August, news reports were predicting U.S. audiences would probably never see it. It turned out to be a studio issue—Relativity Media went bankrupt, dooming its forthcoming releases—but Netflix eventually saved the day. The streaming juggernaut has a fruitful relationship with Flanagan (they released both Gerald’s Game and 2016’s Hush, and he’s currently working on its revival of The Haunting of Hill House), and it was just less than a month ago that Flanagan took to Twitter to announce its release via the platform.
The good news? It’s now streaming. The bad news? It wasn’t really worth the wait.
Now, Flanagan’s a very talented writer and director. Even when his films skew towards the mainstream, whether it be via a gimmicky premise (Oculus) or as a sequel to a reviled movie (Ouija: Origin of Evil), he and his co-writer Jeff Howard always manage to impart a great deal of personality and ingenuity into what could be run-of-the-mill shock fodder. That success is due in part to their...
Love it or hate it — and some musicians truly, deeply hate it — Spotify has already joined the gramophone, Walkman, and iPod as one of the iconic listening tools in music history. The Swedish-born service wasn’t the first to bank on streaming as the future of music, but it was the first to propose a business model that married the wants of listeners (more songs available on demand) with the needs of the major record labels (more money).
Nearly a decade after its 2008 debut, Spotify stands as the largest streaming service in the world by a wide margin (140 million active users and 70 million subscribers, dwarfing runners-up Apple Music and Amazon). In the eyes of record company executives, many of whom initially regarded the company as Piracy Lite, Spotify has swiftly gone from pariah to messiah. No other company or concept is more responsible for the music industry’s commercial resurgence in the post-iTunes years, and the outlook for 2018 looks even brighter than 2017’s record-setting year.
Or does it? Many in the music industry have accepted Spotify’s quick ascension to the top of the streaming heap as an inevitability, but questions linger about the service’s ability to turn a profit — both for itself and for the artists forced to adapt to its new reality.
This feature originally ran in January 2016.
Welcome to Dissected, where we disassemble a band’s catalog, a director’s filmography, or some other critical pop-culture collection in the abstract. It’s exact science by way of a few beers. This time, we sort through the best and worst of the eternal Starman.
Back in the 1999, my older brother worked with Virgin Records, and in lieu of actual payment of money, it seemed like he was compensated exclusively in CDs. And hey, that was cool. He scored tons of Astralwerks artists, dozens of Lenny Kravitz’s 5 album, and, best and perhaps most educationally of all, the complete, digitally remastered studio record re-releases of every David Bowie album up to that point. Post-Earthling, Bowie was still relevant and selling. The Thin White Duke was hot. Again. And all his albums were at my fingertips. Out of drab brown boxes with discs marked for no-retail came … a god.
My mind was blown.
I went with Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, and The Man Who Sold the World on a strange odyssey and have never really come back since. Bowie took me to expansive, exciting, new places with fascinatingly disjointed sounds. I’d never before been this hopelessly fascinated by an...
Ray Thomas, flautist, vocalist, and co-founder of The Moody Blues, passed away on Thursday evening. The 76-year-old had been battling prostate cancer since 2013, though no cause has been given for his sudden death.
Alongside Mike Pinder, Graeme Edge, Clint Warwick, and Denny Laine, Thomas helped found The Moody Blues in 1964. Two years later, Justin Hayward and John Lodge replaced Laine and Warwick, and the band’s sound shifted to what became known as prog-rock. Thomas’ flute played a prominent role in this transition, especially on tracks like “Nights in White Satin”.
In addition to his instrumentals, Thomas contributed a number of compositions to the band’s catalog, many on which he himself took lead vocals. He penned and sang on “Legend of a Mind”, “Dr. Livingstone, I Presume”, “And the Tide Rushes In”, and the signature “Veteran Cosmic Rocker”. In one form or another, he was featured on nearly every album in The Moody Blues’ nearly 40-year recording history. However, as the band shifted towards synth-pop, his role diminished, and he did not appear at all on 1988’s Sur la Mer.
By the time the band was in the studio for 1991’s Keys of the Kingdom, his role had once again increased. Throughout the ’90s, a number of health problems arose that limited Thomas’ ability to record, and 1999’s Strange Times was his final project with the group. He officially retired in 2002.
In addition to his work with The Moody Blues, Thomas released two solo albums, 1975’s From Mighty Oaks and 1976’s Hopes, Wishes and...
In accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at tonight’s Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey sounded more like a budding political candidate than the honoree of a lifetime achievement. “A new day is on the horizon,” Oprah remarked in her impassioned propagation on behalf of women, people of color, the impoverished, journalism, truth, and human decency. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.”
Not surprisingly, within minutes of her speech’s conclusion, #Oprah2020 was trending on Twitter. And when asked by the Los Angeles Times whether Winfrey was serious about a potential presidential run, her longtime partner Stedman Graham only fueled the flames. “It’s up to the people,” Graham responded. “She would absolutely do it.”
Winfrey joins Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kanye West as celebrities who have teased a possible presidential run in 2020. Of course, as a self-made billionaire, media proprietor, and philanthropist, Winfrey would seem best suited to run against Donald Trump.
Watch Winfrey’s full remarks below.
Atlanta’s long-awaited second season is set to premiere on March 1st. During tonight’s Golden Globes, FX aired a new promo, which you can watch above.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour on Friday, creator/star Donald Glover revealed that the forthcoming “Robbin’ Season” will take place in Atlanta during the holiday season, “a time when robberies spike as people have more money and need more money.”
“It’s a tense and desperate time,” added EP/writer Stephen Glover, “we wanted it to be a metaphor for our characters.”
In terms of episode structure, Donald said he was inspired by, of all things, the 1992 direct-to-video Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. “[It] was broken up into eight or nine episodes but when watched together, they played like a movie. You enjoy them more when they’re together,” he explained of the season’s episodic structure.
In accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award at tonight’s Golden Globes, Oprah Winfrey delivered a powerful and poignant speech in which she advocated on behalf of women, people of color, the impoverished, journalism, truth, and human decency. “A new day is on the horizon,” Oprah remarked. “And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” Quite literally Oprah may have just launched a 2020 presidential run.
And yet Golden Globes producers thought it was a good idea to follow Oprah’s speech by crowning the winner for Best Director, a category made up exclusively of men. The irony was not lost on Natalie Portman, who was tasked with announcing the category.Natalie Portman went into savage mode and poor Guillermo del Toro never saw it coming pic.twitter.com/DF0BAcReSt — Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 8, 2018
One of the ways Stephen Colbert has tried to lessen the blow of the harsh reality that we have an incompetent, potentially mentally unfit orange pile of lard as president was to introduce an animated version of Trump on The Late Show. As the insanity of our every day politics continues to get nuttier, the caricature can no longer be contained just to late night, so he’s coming to Showtime in a new series called Our Cartoon President.
The 10-episode parody follows “the tru-ish misadventures of the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, and his advisors and family members.” An executive producer on the show, Colbert told Variety it’s not about keeping up with the ever-more ridiculous news rolling out of the White House, but rather focuses on “the interpersonal relationships of the people you don’t get to see.”
“I think Michael Wolff must have stolen all 10 of our episodes to write Fire and Fury,” Colbert joked, “because there is nothing in that book that isn’t in our show.”
As such, Our Cartoon President will feature animated versions of the cast of characters we’re used to seeing packing our news cycle, like Senator Ted Cruz; Attorney General Jeff Sessions; Ivanka Trump; and Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, whom EP/showrunner R.J. Fried called the show’s “Beavis and Butthead.” People like Omarosa Manigault and Steven Bannon who are no longer in Trump’s inner circle won’t be involved, though Colbert mentioned Manigault “definitely would have” if...