The Passion of Nicki Minaj: "To put down a woman for something that men do, as if they're children and I'm responsible, has nothing to do with you asking stupid questions, because you know that's not just a stupid question. That's a premeditated thing you just did." [SLNYT]
After the triumph of OK Computer, Radiohead fell into a creative tailspin -- and frontman Thom Yorke into a nervous breakdown. Exhausted from touring, hounded by press, and jaded by copycats, he escaped into the electronica scene pioneered by Kraftwerk and Warp Records -- fertile ground, the band discovered. Trading spacey rock for apocalyptic brooding, they teased their new sound not with singles or music videos but with innovative web streaming and cryptic, dreamlike "blips" -- winterlands, flocks of cubes, eyeballs, bears. After nearly breaking up over tracklist angst, they cut the kid in half. Thus fifteen years ago today, Kid A and (later) Amnesiac debuted, a confounding mix of electronic fugue, whalesong, pulsing IDM, drunken piano, and epic jazz funeral whose insights into anxiety, political dysfunction, and climate crisis would make it one of the most revered albums of the twenty-first century. See the documentary Reflections on Kid A for interviews and live cuts, or look inside for much more. [more inside]
"But the other thing you learn is that your fear and nervousness and insecurity is your own business, nobody else’s.”
Helen Mirren is interviewed by The Guardian.
Helen Mirren is interviewed by The Guardian.
Rolling Stone reporter Erik Hedegaard interviewed Terrence Howard about Empire and ... well, it's hard to explain.
A profile on Michel Houellebecq. [The Guardian] [Books]
“It’s not my role to be responsible. I don’t feel responsible,” he says. “The role of a novel is to entertain readers, and fear is one of the most entertaining things there is.” To him, the fear in Submission comes in the dark violence at the novel’s start, before the moderate Islamist party comes to power. Was he deliberately playing on a mood of fear in France? “Yes, I plead guilty,” he says. For Houellebecq, the job of a novelist is foremost to hold a mirror up to contemporary society.[more inside]
"Co-housing, and the many other informal variations of it I found, offer a measure of both autonomy and independence. In co-housing, there are separate houses like you would find anywhere else, but what's different is that they also have a shared common house where they get together sometimes, for meals or meetings or hobbies. They really want a genuine community, so they go ahead and create it." // Jessica Gross interviews Bella DePaulo about co-housing, being single by choice, and her new book, How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century, for Longreads: Breaking the Mold. [more inside]
"If Google sees that you're searching for specific programming terms, they'll ask you to apply for a job. It's wild." "I typed 'request; and half expected to see 'Follow the white rabbit, Max.' Instead, the screen displayed a paragraph outlining a programming challenge and gave instructions on how to submit my solution. I had 48 hours to solve it, and the timer was ticking."
Dr. Jane Ward discusses her new book Not Gay: Sex Between Straight White Men with New York Magazine.
A Passion for the Void: Understanding Clarice Lispector’s Strange and Surreal Fiction. [The New Republic]
Plenty of writers inspire fierce devotion in their readers—the David Foster Wallace acolytes, with their duct-taped copies of Infinite Jest, come to mind, as do the smug objectivists dressed in tech-world casual who owe their entire world view to Ayn Rand. But no one converts the uninitiated into devout believers as suddenly and as vertiginously as Clarice Lispector, the Latin-American visionary, Ukranian-Jewish mystic, and middle-class housewife and mother so revered by her Brazilian fans that she's known by a single name: "Clarice."[more inside]
“As a black woman,” Jemisin tells me, “I have no particular interest in maintaining the status quo. Why would I? The status quo is harmful, the status quo is significantly racist and sexist and a whole bunch of other things that I think need to change. With epic fantasy there is a tendency for it to be quintessentially conservative, in that its job is to restore what is perceived to be out of whack.”
NK Jemisin on upending the fantasy literature status quo and getting beyond medieval fantasy Europe.
NK Jemisin on upending the fantasy literature status quo and getting beyond medieval fantasy Europe.
Science Fiction grandmaster Samuel R. Delaney interviewed by SF Signal, with a very long answer in part 2, and by The New Yorker where he talks about race, recent Hugo controversies being nothing new, and the past and future of science fiction.
“I was very much into Freud and Jung when I was writing those books,” he says. “The whole point of Elric’s soul-eating sword, Stormbringer, was addiction: to sex, to violence, to big, black, phallic swords, to drugs, to escape. That’s why it went down so well in the rock’n’roll world.” - Michael Moorcock at 75 on his work, autobiographical fantasy, and why he thinks Tolkien was a crypto-fascist.
The Exit Interview: I spent 12 Years in the Blue Man Group
"In our conversation with Issac Eddy, we found that he was far from silent about his experience as a Blue Man. From the struggles of learning drumming for the audition, to how the behavior of dogs informed his performance, to his portentous final show, Eddy let us in on just about every aspect of his time under the Blue, and why he decided to be a human again."This is the first in a new series from Atlas Obscura called Exit Interview, where people leaving interesting jobs talk about their work and what they're doing next.
From the minute the Presidential motorcade pulled away, Marc began recording his reaction to the momentous event that just occurred in his garage. Hear Marc's ongoing reflections in the aftermath as well as a discussion with WTF producer Brendan McDonald about how this happened in the first place. [1h18m] [more inside]
EL-P of Run The Jewels Interview With Mark Kozelek [Interview took place March 14, 2015]
Rock Band Rush Finally Makes the Cover of Rolling Stone | Great interview with Neil Peart.
StyleLikeU's "What's Underneath" Project features short videos of people from all walks of life slowly stripping down to their underwear, while giving revealing interviews intended to show that 'style is not the clothes one wears, but spirit, and comfort in one's skin.' Topics covered are as diverse as their subjects, and include beauty, fashion, disability, diseases and chronic conditions including albinism and cancer, career, gender, identity, body image/dysmorphia, abuse, miscarriage, etc. The majority of the subjects are women. Some videos may be NSFW. (Via)
Elena Ferrante, the author of the Neapolitan Novels, discusses how she shapes her stories, her characters, and her decision to remain out of the public eye
Initially panned by critics and a failure at the box office, Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead has found a second life as a cult favorite.
David Sedaris talks about surviving the suicide of his sister Tiffany
Wallace Shawn interviewed by Liese Spencer in The Guardian. Wallace Shawn interviewed by Susan Bernofsky for Public Books. Wallace Shawn interviewed by Hilton Als for The Paris Review. Wallace Shawn interviewed by Andrew O'Hehir for Salon. [more inside]
The New Republic interviews Josh Levs, a CNN reporter who "has written a book, All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses – and How We Can Fix It Together, arguing that it is incumbent on men to become part of a conversation about gender equality in homes and in workplaces." [more inside]
“African Americans,” he wrote in one of his section introductions for Hokum, “like any other Americans, are an angry people with fragile egos. Humor is vengeance. Sometimes you laugh to keep from crying. Sometimes you laugh to keep from shooting … black folk are mad at everybody, so duck, because you’re bound to be in someone’s line of fire.” Paul Beatty on Satire, Racism and Writing for "Weirdos", from the Paris Review.
Clowes Encounter: an extended interview with Ghost World and Eightball writer/illustrator Daniel Clowes. [more inside]
Paul Morley conducts arguably the worst ever Brian Eno interview sometime in 1992. "A boring question is when you already know the answer" and other throwaways. [more inside]
“The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme” was written by Harvard biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in 1979. Their critique of their own field of evolutionary biology spilled out of the Ivory Tower onto the pages of general intellectual forums such as the New York Review of Books. I talked by phone with Lewontin on March 2 2015. In his mid-eighties, he is still scientifically active and could recall his collaboration with Gould in detail. Our conversation is highly relevant to the “Just so story” critique that is frequently leveled against Evolutionary Psychology.
Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant of Echo and the Bunnymen explain how they came up with "The Killing Moon."
I’m on a mission to explore our relationship with gas stations, and this is the story of how I got hired at one.
In honour of Women's History Month*, Vibe has been doing brief interviews with "a woman who has made her living by doing exactly what she wants." [more inside]
Boys Don't Cry
If you take any personality trait—aggressiveness, say—and draw a bell curve for the distribution of this trait in girls and boys, you will find there are many girls who are more aggressive than a number of boys. But when adults buy into traditional masculine or feminine ideologies, they rear their children to conform to those norms. They try to force girls who are aggressive into not being aggressive, or boys who are nurturing into not being nurturing.Brian Gresko interviews psychologist Dr. Ronald Levant on the evolution of maleness and the sociocultural forces that have long stifled men and fathers. [more inside]
Greek MP Costas Lapavitsas on the economic barriers ahead for Syriza and the challenges of eurozone exit "I want to come clean, and this a good venue to do it, and say the following: the obvious solution for Greece right now, when I look at it as a political economist, the optimal solution, would be a negotiated exit." [more inside]
Bill Watterson, the famously reclusive creator of Calvin & Hobbes, has given his longest interview to date, to be published in the exhibition catalog for the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum's exhibit, Exploring Calvin & Hobbes.
How Wednesday Addams Would React To Catcalling went viral a few weeks ago with its darkly-humorous, sweet-revenge take on the issue. But it's only one episode of Melissa Hunter's "Adult Wednesday Addams" webseries - and season 2 concludes today. [more inside]
"You need to know who Billy Wilder was. You need to know the names of people who are no longer alive. Because it’s very important—it’s what our history is made of. You need to see the movies the way they were—with the racism, the violence, and the censorship. All the things that let you see what the movie past had been so you understand where we are! But really nobody’s interested in that right now. Their interests are so bifurcated." - An interview with Joe Dante (Part 1, Part 2)
Sufjan Stevens has released a new track, "No Shade In The Shadow of the Cross", from his forthcoming album Carrie & Lowell. The album is named for Stephens's mother and stepfather, and the musician recently spoke with Ryan Dombal at Pitchfork about his past and the album's origins.
Ry Cooder shares an hour of vignettes about skipping school in the '50s to teach himself guitar by listenting to hillbilly radio, how he came to work with Flaco Jiminez, being schooled by the old time Cuban musicians in the Buena Vista Social Club recording and more. Music journalist Barry Mazor draws him out about his 50-year career in a delightful and highly entertaining chat - an hour didn't seem nearly long enough.
“So you have six years of pretty expensive schooling here, and it's going to be burritos and tacos?"
Robert Stone, Novelist of the Vietnam Era and Beyond, Dies at 77 [New York Times]
"Robert Stone, who wrote ambitious, award-winning novels about errant Americans in dangerous circumstances or on existential quests — or both — as commentary on an unruly, wayward nation in the Vietnam era and beyond, died on Saturday at his home in Key West, Fla. He was 77.[more inside]
De-cluttering your house with love: "Marie Kondo has built a huge following in her native Japan with her “KonMari” method of organizing and de-cluttering. Clients perform a sort of tidying-up festival: time set aside specifically to go through belongings. Each object is picked up and held, and the client needs to decide if it inspires joy. If it doesn’t, it needs to go." [more inside]
Former football player & star of the popular series of Old Spice commercials Terry Crews speaks on CBC's "Q" about rejecting caricatures of manhood (both video & audio-only available at the link) [more inside]
In the darkest hour of the AIDS epidemic, Ruth Coker Burks cared for hundreds of people whose families had abandoned them. Courage, love and the 30-year secret of one little graveyard in Hot Springs, Arkansas. [more inside]
Nerdist talks to Sam Raimi about fruit, his career in retail sales, how he got started making movies, the links between comedy and horror, the Evil Dead TV show and of course why Spider-Man 3 was "awful".
An entertaining half hour spent with a man who initiated many of us into realms of magic, shifting our consciousness away from the mundane into the mystic.
Chicago's own Jan Terri offers up her version of "Ave Maria" paired with an interpretive video for your Xmastime enjoyment [more inside]
In July 2014, Indigo Girls did a show at the Greek Theater in LA with Joan Baez. They filmed a series of videos backstage discussing their songs and their songwriting process. In Part 1, they discuss and perform Amy Ray's song Devotion. (album version, lyrics) [more inside]
This particular solution to the Fizz Buzz problem is entertaining enough. Further reflection shows that it's actually an example of the Vogon programming language V--.
Peter Cook interview from 1967: Part 1 [YouTube]. Cook talks about the writing process, creating Bedazzled, taxes, Beyond The Fringe, stage-work, and more in this unguarded interview. [more inside]