I also need just to go on record here and say (1) the worst ten minutes of Hannibal display more tonal control and visual imagination than the best hour of almost any other drama you can name, even the great ones; and (2) it should have been nominated here; and (3) it doesn’t matter that it wasn’t nominated because 20 or 30 years down the road, young students of cinema and television will ask their elders if they watched Hannibal during its first run, and they’ll all lie and claim they watched every second, like people do today when young viewers ask about Twin Peaks.
Matt Seitz isn’t always right about stuff, but he’s very very right about this.
In this way, she actually has a lot in common with Thom Yorke from Radiohead. Both artists have very specific sets of personal iconography – hers is like a Pinterest board full of glamorous images from fashion magazines and old movies; his is more like a wall full of paranoia-inducing news clippings. For both, evocative imagery and vaguely triggering language orbit expressions of raw, distressed emotion. Del Rey’s debut was uneven in quality partly because she overwhelmed her songs with signifiers, but she’s become a more sophisticated songwriter over time. Ultraviolence has more or less the same ideas and aesthetics as Born to Die, but the emphasis has shifted from setting a scene to conveying an air of exquisite, seductive sadness.
I wrote about Lana Del Rey’s new album.
How could anybody see Haim as anything other than completely new and exciting? To my ears they are totally brand new and alien. It’s like they took Amber Coffman from Dirty Projectors, with all her instrumental and vocal talents, cloned her twice and signed the results to a major label. The most notable thing I’ve noticed about Haim is this unique melodic thing. Their voices loooooove the 4th note (‘fa’) of the scale. They love to hit it, hold it and suspend it way longer than anyone else. The movement from the 4th note of the scale to the 3rd note — often deployed as a 4-3 suspension, Google for more — it’s full-fat, full-sugar. The richest dessert in tonal harmony. Stick with me through a couple of examples. The words that fall on the 4th-note are capitalized. ‘Falling’: “Don’t stop NO I’LL NEVER GIVE UP / AND I’LL NEVER LOOK BACK/ JUST hold your head up.” ‘The Wire’: ‘but I fumBLED IT / WHEN IT came down to the wire.’ Both songs have no 4s in their melodies until these coups de grâçe. They’d hit those 4-3 suspensions and my soul would soar, then a second later my heart would sink with the realization that these girls are better songwriters than I am ;_;
The role of Mystique deserves to be treated with the respect and careful casting that the role of a 150-year-old, venomously angry, lesbian shapeshifting assassin merits. She deserves a spinoff trilogy every bit as expensive as Wolverine Visits Japan. Jennifer Lawrence has a great jawline and seems like she’s a lot of fun at parties; she’s a good actress but she does not have Mystique running in her veins. I want to see a woman who looks like she’s committed murder during the act of sex wearing that blue paintsuit. I want a woman with falcon eyes and a crocodile heart, a balls-out weird woman, a woman who’s spent some time living underground. She deserves to be played by either Tilda Swinton, Eva Green, or Lena Headey, in that order.
I agree with Mallory Ortberg on this topic.
The Rolling Stones are making their fifth concert tour of the United States – a tour that will take them to 30 cities by the end of the month. The middling attendance [9,400] at a stadium that seats 14,000 was attributed by some to the heat. Others believed that interest in British rock groups is declining and that the scaling of tickets from $5 to $12.50 has simply become too much for young fans.
Part of the reason Coldplay has so little competition outside of singer-songwriter dudes like Ed Sheeran and John Mayer is because romantic love songs are rarely valued within rock culture. Sometimes they’re derided as a sellout move, like how in the ’80s, hair metal power ballads by the likes of Poison and Bon Jovi were mocked by fans of harder, more self-consciously macho metal bands like Metallica and Anthrax who distanced themselves from love and sex entirely. Punks and indie rockers typically approach the notion of writing love songs with irony and cynicism; new wavers in the ’80s dressed up their love songs in dark drama and grave seriousness; and the alt-rockers of the ’90s — R.E.M., Nirvana, Bush, Stone Temple Pilots — mostly hid straightforward lyrics about love in songs that were otherwise made of nonsense words. This dismissive attitude about love songs is baked into two of rock’s most defining binaries — The Rolling Stones are seen as cooler than The Beatles because they have fewer love songs, and within The Beatles, John Lennon’s often cynical view of love is held up as evidence of his genius while Paul McCartney’s lovey dovey lyrics are widely considered to be his greatest flaw as an artist.
I wrote about Coldplay and rock culture’s bias against romantic love songs.