Slate's Culture Blog
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 1:56 PM
Of course, there are even more movies and shows he could have drawn from, as various YouTube commenters have noted. Klock says he is working on another cut. What else should he include?
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 11:46 AM
Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
When he’s not busy writing female-empowered anthems for Beyoncé—as well as hits for Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Britney Spears—the producer and songwriter The-Dream occasionally writes tunes for himself, usually about sex, love, and also sex. His newest album, IV Play, as you can probably guess from the title, is very much in keeping with his body of work thus far.
Featuring collaborations with the likes of 2-Chainz and Jay-Z, the album once again has The-Dream crooning raunchy lyrics over catchy beats. “Equestrian” elaborates on Ginuwine’s classic horse-riding-as-sex metaphor; you can probably guess the subject matter of the subtly titled “Pussy.” Mrs. Carter herself even shows up to assist with vocals on the mid-tempo “Turnt,” returning the favor after years of singing The-Dream’s songs with great success. You can stream the album in full below.Read More »
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 9:02 AM
Summer is right around the corner, and it’s the perfect time to catch up with a few of those shows everyone is always saying you should watch. But there are so many! How can you decide which to try? Pilot episodes have so much introductory work to do; they’re usually subpar compared with the great stuff to come. And the very best episodes of a series often demand too much knowledge of what came before.
You need to find the gateway episode, one you can watch without any background knowledge and which will give you a real sense of the show—and whether you’ll like it. In this new weekly Brow Beat series, we’ll be directing you to the best gateway episodes for great series you should watch this summer.
Deadwood has a special place in my heart because it’s one of the only TV shows I managed to watch when my children were little, a time when entertainment mostly lost out to sleep. My husband and I Netflixed the show, and slow-watched it whenever we could spare an hour, always remaining a season or two behind. That’s one of my favorite ways to watch TV, because when you meet other viewers who are late to the same party, it’s as if you’ve found your tribe.
Now I want to persuade you to join us. Since Deadwood is a narrative series—not as tightly written as another favorite of mine, Breaking Bad, but with a clear through line—the simplest thing is to start at the beginning. But the first three episodes plod a bit as they set the characters in place. So here’s another, faster point of entry, if you want to know quickly whether you’re really going to like this show: the fourth episode of the first season, “Here Was a Man.”Read More »
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at 1:10 AM
Beyoncé's new single is her latest anthem of female empowerment.
Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
To be a lead single from Beyoncé these days, you need four things: A syncopated, up-tempo beat, some stabs of brass or synths to go over it, a chorus of female shout-along voices (mostly Beyoncé’s), and a message of female empowerment.
It started with “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” off I Am… Sasha Fierce, it continued with “Run the World (Girls),” off 2011’s excellent 4, and now it continues once again, with “Grown Woman,” from her as-yet untitled forthcoming album. As you can hear below, the new song has hit the web, and all Beyoncé forgot was the parenthetical.
Posted Monday, May 20, 2013, at 4:49 PM
Note the instructions.
In previous editions we’ve addressed some pretty serious issues: the curious differences in the shape of toilet seats, the diabolical gates of fire that guard our wilderness areas, the mysterious wires that float nearly unseen above our streets.
But this week’s mystery is something special. This one is going to blow your effing mind.
Rick Evans, a graphic designer based in Underhill, VT, wrote in to point out the little impressionable tabs that appear on the ends of boxes of aluminum foil and plastic wrap. My quick informal survey confirms what Rick himself found: that approximately 0 percent of the American population is aware of the existence of these tabs.
That’s an approximate percentage, mind you. Rick Evans knows they exist, and what they’re for. And so does his mom. Do you?Read More »
Posted Monday, May 20, 2013, at 4:03 PM
Posted Monday, May 20, 2013, at 1:49 PM
Are the men of Mad Men in the midst of their Vietnam?
Photo by Jordin Althaus/AMC
Is the Chevy account Mad Men’s Vietnam? The Internet’s army of recappers seems uncharacteristically unsure of what to make of last night’s episode, complete with company-sponsored juicing, exhaustion-fueled hallucinations, and a song and dance number from Kenneth Cosgrove. But I have a crackpot theory: After a season that began by teasing a year of violence in Vietnam, this episode’s trip down the rabbit hole finally led to that distant war abroad—a “fever dream” treatment of the nation’s panic not unlike the show’s treatment of the Kennedy assassination—or at least that’s how I’d explain everything that went down at the office.
Posted Monday, May 20, 2013, at 11:13 AM
Last month, for an episode of Parks and Recreation, Patton Oswalt ad libbed a hilarious vision of what Star Wars VII ought to be. (It involved the Avengers and several Greek gods.) Now his vision has been delightfully animated by YouTube user Izac Less.
Somehow I suspect that the newly announced Star Wars cartoon, Star Wars Rebels, which will take place in the time between Episodes III and IV and will debut on the Disney Channel next year, will not be nearly as good as this.
Posted Monday, May 20, 2013, at 10:28 AM
Over the weekend, the University of Virginia uploaded to YouTube Stephen Colbert’s Valedictory Adress to the school’s 2013 graduates. Colbert offers his thoughts on university founder Thomas Jefferson and his version of the school’s honor code (“I have neither given nor received help on this assignment, so help me Adderall”) before arriving at the advice portion of his speech, which includes such gems as: “You do not owe the previous generation anything. Thanks to us, you owe it to the Chinese.”
Posted Sunday, May 19, 2013, at 10:55 AM
Bill Hader is leaving Saturday Night Live, and the show gave his breakout character, Stefon, a worthy send-off: a wedding with Anderson Cooper attended by many of his wacky club friends and broken up by his true love, Seth Meyers.