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St. Vincent (#110 of 19)

St. Vincent Goes Under the Knife in “Los Ageless” Music Video

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St. Vincent Goes Under the Knife in “Los Ageless” Music Video
St. Vincent Goes Under the Knife in “Los Ageless” Music Video

The new music video for St. Vincent’s “Los Ageless,” the second single from her upcoming album, MASSEDUCTION, is a vibrant, sci-fi satire of Hollywood superficiality. The video, directed by Willo Perron in partnership with Red Bull Music, finds singer-songwriter Annie Clark going to the extreme in her quest for Tinseltown perfection, enduring an ectoplasmic pedicure, swallowing slug sushi, and, in a nod to a scene from Terry Gilliam’s dystopian 1985 film Brazil, getting skin-stretching plastic surgery.

Tribeca Film Festival 2016 Contemporary Color

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Tribeca Film Festival 2016: Contemporary Color

Bill Ross

Tribeca Film Festival 2016: Contemporary Color

After three documentaries noteworthy for their humanity-affirming lyricism, Bill and Turner Ross step outside their comfort zone with Contemporary Color. It’s a filmed record of last year’s David Byrne-organized celebration of color guard, the flag-spinning dance form usually associated with high school and college marching bands. For the event, held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, the former Talking Heads frontman matched 10 color guard troupes with 10 musicians, from classical composers like Nico Muhly to old- and new-guard indie darlings, among them Ad-Rock, St. Vincent, tUnE-yArDs, and Zola Jesus, commissioning them to choreograph routines based on original music.

Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions

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Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions
Grammy 2015 Winner Predictions

All this week we’re predicting the winners in the so-called Big Four categories at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, airing this Sunday night on CBS. We kick things off with our picks in some of the smaller genre categories:

Best Rock Album: NARAS loves to reward long-overdue veterans, particularly in categories like Best Rock Album, where past winners include the Rolling Stones (who took home the inaugural trophy back in 1995), U2 (who’ve won twice, and are nominated again this year), and Led Zeppelin (whose live album Celebration Day triumphed over Black Sabbath, David Bowie, and Neil Young last year). It might seem foolish to bet against U2, but the Irish icons only have a 50% success rate in this category, and Songs of Innocence was notable mostly for its controversial rollout—which, unlike Beyoncé, was met with a cool reception. The Black Keys won here two years ago, and while the academy is fond of repeat winners (just ask Foo Fighters, who possess a whopping 20 percent of all of the metal handed out in this category), it will be hard to resist rewarding Beck’s Morning Phase, the Album of the Year-nominated sequel to his beloved 2002 album Sea Change. And yes, he’s a “veteran.” Feel old? Sal Cinquemani

Listen to Slant‘s 25 Best Singles of 2014

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Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2014
Listen to Slant’s 25 Best Singles of 2014

As if taking a cue from Daft Punk’s nothing-but-nostalgic triumph at the Grammy Awards, 2014 was the year of the late arrival. Two years after its release, Disclosure’s “Latch” suddenly and belatedly became a wedding-reception staple. (Though, as Sam Smith could now attest in no less than 35 states in the Union, sometimes the wait’s worth it.) Pharrell Williams’s “Happy,” which first appeared two summers ago in the utterly inconsequential Despicable Me 2, rode a surprise Oscar nomination to rule the charts throughout spring, before ultimately winding up as the year’s preeminent song for everyone to pretend they hated all along. And Taylor Swift finally admitted to being the pop artist the rest of the country-music world already knew she’s been the entire time. Of course, the industry’s default mode remains as ever the hot new preferably young thing. So it’s hardly surprising that, despite Swift’s many magazine covers, Ariana Grande emerged as arguably the most ubiquitous force of perk on the pop charts, her melisma sounding freshly trained like the first-in-class graduate of the Mariah Carey Arpeggio Academy she is. Ultimately, none of these artists came within earshot of making our list, which only goes to show that finding the gems in popular music, the songs with freshness and vitality, is as much a burrower’s game as ever these days. The songs we chose share with Grande that sense of emergence and discovery. Only they’re darker, with a disinclination for showing their faces until you reckon with their imposing talent, or, conversely, zeal for giving listeners uncompromisingly violent sexuality at face value, leaving more dead bodies strewn in their wake. And more references to masturbation.

Toronto International Film Festival 2014 St. Vincent and Manglehorn

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Toronto International Film Festival 2014: St. Vincent and Manglehorn
Toronto International Film Festival 2014: St. Vincent and Manglehorn

Theodore Melfi’s debut feature, St. Vincent, is a heartwarmer that never insults—exactly the opposite of what its protagonist, Vincent (Bill Murray), is supposed to be: a disgruntled drunk who nobody likes. Trading in the quiet, aloof, melancholic persona of his Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers characters, Murray at first seems to be going full grouch. Ultimately, though, Vincent turns out to be just the kind of character who aging actors play regularly these days: a curmudgeon with a heart of gold. (Fitting, then, that Jack Nicholson was apparently interested in the part before Murray.)