When Did the Media Turn Against Taylor Swift? - In an interview with The Guardian, she came out as a feminist. A charitable read is that Swift was simply growing as a person as she entered her mid-20s. A more cynical outlook is that, in the words of BuzzFeed's Anne Helen Petersen, she was employing "an incredibly savvy image maintenance strategy." These interpretations are not mutually exclusive. [...] It's increasingly popular to use celebrities as signposts (or, as Roxane Gay puts it, "brand ambassadors") for various strains of political thought [...] This development has been very beneficial for the media — entertainment news spreads better when injected with a dose of political signaling, and potentially abstract political discussions spread better if they're attached to a recognizable name — and for an artist, there can be definite benefits in having your work linked with a specific politics. But the risks are heightened, too: Your failings become not just the failings of a person, but the failings of an ideology, and must be denounced even more loudly. [previously] [more inside]
Kanye West has released the new music video for his song "Famous," (warning: explicit, NSFW) featuring disturbingly lifelike wax likenesses of celebrities lying next to eachother naked in a large bed. The celebrities? Taylor Swift, Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Ray J, Caitlyn Jenner, Bill Cosby, Amber Rose, Anna Wintour, and, of course, Kim & Ye himself. The video has unsurprisingly garnered strong reactions. Kanye's equally unsurprising Twitter response? "Can somebody sue me already #I'llwait". [more inside]
1989 as covered by Ryan Adams (except "Clean", for some reason). Blank Space is my favorite. It's available on iTunes (including "Clean"). You can read an interview with him or read about the backstory in USA Today.
Famed Shakespearean actor Sir Patrick Stewart recently appeared on NPR to perform a dramatic rendition of T. A. Swift's classic work, Blank Space.
A fan created video combining the far superior and punk-as-fuck Screaming Females cover of Taylor Swift's Shake It Off with the original video. The cover was part of the sometimes amusing, often surprising AV Undercover series.
Dayna Evans writes about Taylor Swift for Gawker: [T]he part of Taylor’s persona that doesn’t get talked about enough [is that] she is a ruthless, publicly capitalist pop star. To think of her as womanhood incarnate is to trick oneself into forgetting about “Bad Blood” and “Better Than Revenge.” Swift isn’t here to help women—she’s here to make bank… Her plan—to be as famous and as rich as she can possibly be—is working, and by using other women as tools of her self-promotion, she is distilling feminism for her own benefit. [more inside]
About seven months after pulling her music from Spotify due to low royalties (previously), Taylor Swift posted a note to her Tumblr asking Apple to pay royalties for songs streamed during the free trial of its upcoming Apple Music service. Within 24 hours, Apple agreed.
Just how many Sci-Fi / Action movie references are in Taylor Swift's new video "Bad Blood"? IO9 attempts to make a tally of them all.
...he co-wrote four songs on the Backstreet Boys’ self-titled 1996 debut album, one of which, “Quit Playing Games With My Heart,” went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. And with that, his career took off. You probably know most of what comes next. For instance, you probably know that, to date, Martin has co-written 19 songs that went to #1 on the Hot 100, and another 36 that charted in the top 10 but didn't manage to hit #1. You probably know that many of those songs were recorded by Katy Perry (who has recorded 10 top-10 songs with Martin), Taylor Swift (six top-10 songs with Martin), Britney Spears (also six), P!nk (five), and the Backstreet Boys (five). You might also know that Martin’s 19 chart-toppers put him at third place on the all-time list behind Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). Stereogum's Michael Nelson on superproducer/songwriter Max Martin, complete with a list of 30 Essential Max Martin Songs.
"Blank Page" Taylor Swift meets "Game of Thrones."
The 2014 Grammy nominations -- save for album of the year, which will be announced tonight on a CBS "Very Grammy Christmas" special -- were announced today. Familiar names are in all the top spots, including Beyonce, Taylor Swift, Iggy Azalea and Pharrell Williams. Best new artist nominees are Azalea, Sam Smith, Haim, Bastille and Brandy Clark. [more inside]
Rolling Stone has announced its 50 best albums of 2014.
From the soon-to-be (and now actually) laid-off staff of Matt Taibbi's now-aborted magazine The Racket comes Racket Teen! Enjoy its collection of hip memes, hard-hitting cover stories, sexy freedom fighters, and deep investigative journalism, including the answer to the question that's been haunting us all: what really happened to Matt Taibbi?
The Washington Post breaks down what Diplo's "skinny shaming" of Taylor Swift has, is, and will continue to do to the body image war being waged on women.
what IS country music? Tensions have been brewing and there’s been no shortage of public feuding among the genre’s A-list. As country fights to figure out what it should look and sound like, its biggest stars are airing some very honest (and sometimes harsh) opinions. Here’s a timeline of country’s wild, crazy, and sometimes mud-slinging year. [more inside]
Molly Lambert and Emily Yoshida go see Taylor Swift at the Staples Center and are transformed by the experience: Basically, you are at a slumber party with 15,000 people where everyone gets to talk about their emotions and just get real as girlfriends. And by everyone, I mean Taylor. The concert also featured the unlikely collaboration of Swift and Tegan and Sara on the latter's single "Closer."
So, Boston's KISS 108 FM decided to hold a Taylor Swift Biggest Fan Contest. But they cancelled it. [more inside]
WNYC has a feature called Tough Critics, getting 5th-graders to review new music releases. Today they reviewed Godspeed You! Black Emperor's We Drift Like Worried Fire. They decided it was missing something...> [more inside]
I Knew You Were Tribbles (When You Dropped In). Metafilter's own tribbladour Cortex serenades you with his ST:TOS-inspired version of Taylor Swift's tribblesome pop song.
Somewhere between his earlier rendition of Go the F**k to Sleep (again on YouTube, NSFW) and Radiohead's cover of Wonderwall comes Samuel L. Jackson covering Taylor Swift.
The Dualities of Taylor Swift: Furries, Bo Diddley, and Country Bears in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” [more inside]
We Are Never Ever Gonna Cook Together - A Breaking Bad Taylor Swift parody. (SLYT / Spoilers)
Using album & digital song sales, Hot 100 rankings, radio airplay, YouTube views, social media, concert grosses, industry awards and critics' ratings, Rolling Stone compares sixteen female artists to name the Queen of Pop. [more inside]
Kanye and I had exchanged emails days after the Taylor Swift incident, but between him being inundated with criticism and my own personal distraction—a recently discovered brain tumor, of all things—this conversation, a month later, was our first real catch-up. [more inside]
Taylor Swift to Kanye, one year later: "Your string of lights is still bright to me." (Original incident.)
Taylor Swift's hit video for "You Belong With Me" is not well loved, but the changing of a single detail turns it into the heartwarming teen romance it was meant to be.
"I don’t want my unborn grandchildren to listen to the story of how Taylor Swift won a Grammy she hadn’t earned. I want them to set pianos on fire." [more inside]
This adult swim bump didn't make any sense until I saw this video. I think it changed my opinion of Taylor Swift, if only for just shy of two minutes.