Totally Psycho American Psycho

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Totally Psycho: American Psycho

Jeremy Daniel

Totally Psycho: American Psycho

It's hard to tell if the American Psycho musical knows that it sounds like a joke straight out of The Simpsons—or whether it matters. Imagine Homer Simpson and his family on a trip to Capital City, and Marge announces that there's a musical based on Bret Easton Ellis's novel. The kicker: Duncan Sheik wrote the music. But this is no joke, despite the copious jokes. It's real life, and we're stuck with what to make of this ludicrous crowd-pleaser.

I'm reminded of another absurd musical adaptation of another quintessential novel of '80s New York depravity: Paul Scott Goodman's Patrick Wilson-starring Bright Lights, Big City, from 1999, which took the fact of its odd subject for musical theater and ran with it so far past its farcical extremes that it came out the other side. The hero of Jay McInerney's novel had a fixation on a comatose child, and Goodman gave “Coma Baby” its own song, which is revisited throughout; he did the same for a missing NYU student on a milk carton. The downtown cokeheads at the Odeon repeat the line “Can you make me cum?” until it sounds like catchy nonsense a la “da doo ron ron.”

Janet Jackson Gets Back to Basics in New Music Video for "Damnn Baby"

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Janet Jackson Gets Back to Basics in New Music Video for "Damnn Baby"
Janet Jackson Gets Back to Basics in New Music Video for "Damnn Baby"

There's an implicit comma in the title of her new single, “Damnn Baby,” from last year's Unbreakable, but ticketholders for Janet Jackson's world tour were likely muttering the phrase—sans punctuation mark and superfluous “n”—when the singer revealed she would be postponing the remainder of the dates so she and husband Wissam Al Mana could “[plan] our family.” (If her choice of words seemed ambiguous, yesterday a source confirmed that Janet, who turns 50 this month, is indeed pregnant.)

The Americans Recap Season 4, Episode 8, "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears"

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The Americans Recap: Season 4, Episode 8, "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears"

Patrick Harbron/FX

The Americans Recap: Season 4, Episode 8, "The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears"

Behind the blue curtain, the lady vanishes—Lady Liberty, that is. As David Copperfield explains in the TV special that gives tonight's episode of The Americans its title, the illusion is meant to remind viewers to cherish their rights and freedoms, to appreciate the opportunities of which their immigrant ancestors dreamed. It is, as Elizabeth (Keri Russell) might say, “very American”: a manipulation, an elaborate trick, mistaking the profit motive for much higher ideals. In “The Magic of David Copperfield V: The Statue of Liberty Disappears,” after all, another lady vanishes, and in her wake what might have seemed like liberty turns out to be a prison, one of the characters' own design.

Alicia Keys Makes an Understated Return with New Single "In Common"

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Alicia Keys Makes an Understated Return with New Single "In Common"

RCA Records

Alicia Keys Makes an Understated Return with New Single "In Common"

Though “In Common” is being billed as Alicia Keys's first release in four years, the single, in fact, comes on the heels of 2014's socially conscious, piano-driven “We Are Here” and last year's YOLO-themed “28 Thousand Days.” “In Common,” however, is a notable departure from not just those forgettable offerings, but from the singer's biggest hits, eschewing the heavy beats and big, brash hooks that have dominated her singles since 2007's “No One.” Produced by Illangelo, best known for his work with the Weeknd, the track boasts a comparably restrained vocal performance from Keys, who in recent years has fancied herself a soprano to mixed results, and a pointillistic collage of electronic beats and tropicalia-infused rhythms. Lyrically, “In Common” also finds Keys tackling darker subject matter, exploring the multiplicative effect of two imperfect personalities becoming entangled in a casual relationship, conceding: “If you could love somebody like me/You must be messed up too.” With its sensual, forward-minded production and more mature themes, the song recalls Keys's under-appreciated 2009 single “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart.” Hopefully this one won't be slept on. Listen below:

The 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

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The 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

TCM Classic Film Festival

The 2016 TCM Classic Film Festival

Like several of its previous incarnations, year seven of the TCM Classic Film Festival, which concluded this past Sunday in the grimy, glittery heart of Hollywood, was organized around an overriding theme. But unlike such past umbrella constructs as “Family in the Movies: The Ties That Bind,” “Hollywood Style,” and “History According to Hollywood,” this year's official theme, “Moving Pictures,” was one that was perhaps less precisely defined.

According to the official press release, TCMFF 2016 would be dedicated to exploring films “that bring us to tears, rouse us to action, inspire us, even project us to a higher plane…the big-time emotions of big screen stories, from coming-of-age pictures to terminal tearjerkers, from powerful sports dramas we feel in our bones to religious epics that elevate our spirits.” By the time the final schedule had been announced, there was even a sentimental subdivision of films centered on animals—Lassie, Come Home, Bambi, and Old Yeller among them. Of course, almost every film, whether we respond to it with warm feelings or revulsion, “moves” us in some way, emotionally or intellectually, sometimes even physically, so it seems a forgivable response if, going in, TCMFF's announced theme seemed too broad to inspire much in the way of great expectations for an above-and-beyond level of curation.

Radiohead Drops New Single & Wicker Man-Inspired Music Video for "Burn the Witch"

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Radiohead Drops New Single & Wicker Man-Inspired Music Video for "Burn the Witch"
Radiohead Drops New Single & Wicker Man-Inspired Music Video for "Burn the Witch"

After a series of Instagram teasers and mysterious leaflets sent to fans that made mention of the song's title, Radiohead has released “Burn the Witch,” the first single from their ninth studio album. Rumored to be called Dawn Chorus, the upcoming album will be the band's first in over five years, following 2011's The King of Limbs. “Burn the Witch,” which goes on sale at midnight, has reportedly been in the works for at least 15 years, as far back as 2001's Kid A. True to the band's long-established brand, the track melds digital and analog, with staccato guitar stabs, lush orchestral swells, and of course, frontman Thom Yorke's sonorous wails undergirded by buzzing electronic sounds and Colin Greenwood's distinctive bass. “Stand in the shadows/To the gallows/This is a round-up,” Yorke cautions at the song's start, with all the paranoia and politically shaded intrigue we've come to expect.

A Disarmingly Humanist Vision Don DeLillo’s Zero K

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A Disarmingly Humanist Vision: Don DeLillo’s Zero K
A Disarmingly Humanist Vision: Don DeLillo’s Zero K

Late in Don DeLillo's latest novel, Zero K, an unnamed operative of the Convergence, a cultish institute offering the promise of immortality via cryogenic freezing, tells a group of soon-to-be-frozen patients, “You are completely outside the narrative of what we refer to as history.” Adherents of the Convergence's quasi-religious ideology are attempting to outrun not just death, but language, geography, even humanity itself. In the hallways of the Convergence, video screens display montages of mass death (climate catastrophe, terror, war), reminders of the human horror they're escaping. Once resurrected from their deep-freeze slumber, they'll awake to a world liberated from horror and also freed from the banal strictures of daily life, the weight of the past, the limitations of human perception. They'll even speak a new language, one that “will offer new meanings, entire new levels of perception.”

Game of Thrones Recap Season 6, Episode 2, "Home"

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Game of Thrones Recap: Season 6, Episode 2, "Home"

HBO

Game of Thrones Recap: Season 6, Episode 2, "Home"

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is dreaming of better days, specifically his long-lost Winterfell, where he watches as his father, Ned, and uncle, Benjen, learn to spar. He even happens upon a slow stable boy, Willis, and realizes that this is an even more innocent version of the man who's been protecting him in the present, Hodor (Kristian Nairn). This, of course, is an illusion, and the mysterious vision-sharing man known only as the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow) soon pulls Bran back to his crippled reality. “You finally show me something I care about, and then you drag me away,” shouts Bran, and it's hard not to hear echoes of the most ardent yet frustrated Game of Thrones fans, because the show's sprawling narrative has room for no more than 10 minutes an episode for each character. That makes it increasingly hard to becoming truly invested in any of them, especially with a new subplot on the Iron Islands, where the possibly insane Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), claiming to be the Drowned God, deposes his brother, Balon (Patrick Malahide), by flinging him over a rickety bridge in the middle of a storm.

Rihanna Reunites with Calvin Harris for "This Is What You Came For"

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Rihanna Reunites with Calvin Harris for "This Is What You Came For"

Rihanna x Stance

Rihanna Reunites with Calvin Harris for "This Is What You Came For"

Rihanna's latest album, Anti, is notable for its dearth of dance beats. The EDM bubble has, of course, deflated, if not burst, but some of the singer's biggest hits have beckoned listeners to the dance floor: “Pon de Replay,” “SOS,” “Don't Stop the Music,” “Only Girl (In the World).” Her crowning achievement in the genre is her collaboration with Scottish super-DJ/producer Calvin Harris, “We Found Love,” a song our own Eric Henderson once claimed “makes the urge to get turnt up feel like an almost religious impulse.”

Kesha Shows Her "True Colors" on New Zedd Track

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Kesha Shows Her "True Colors" on New Zedd Track

Interscope

Kesha Shows Her "True Colors" on New Zedd Track

Just two months after her lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke, a.k.a. Lukasz Gottwald, for allegedly drugging, raping, and verbally abusing her was tossed out by a New York judge, barring the singer from recording outside the parameters of her contract with the Swedish super-producer, Kesha is already releasing new music. But don't call it a loophole. Russian DJ Zedd took to Twitter to explain that Dr. Luke's label, to which the “Fuck Him He's a DJ” singer is signed, had given their blessing for the release.