Slate's Culture Blog

April 22 2014 5:39 PM

Beyoncé Reteams With Boots on New Song

After Beyoncé unleashed her latest album on the world last December, much of the discussion of the album surrounded the then-mysterious Boots. The writer-producer was credited on an impressive four songs beside marquee names like Pharrell and Frank Ocean, but no one knew anything about him.

Now that’s about to change, because Boots, real name Jordy Asher, is preparing a forthcoming mixtape, and the latest song he’s shared, via his Facebook page, has a pretty high-profile feature: Queen Bey herself. Boots sings lead vocal on the first two verses, after which he dutifully cedes the floor to Beyoncé (who, frankly, blows him out of the water). The song itself falls somewhere between more straightforward collaborations like “Heaven” and “Blue” and the more musically adventurous “Haunted.” Check it out below

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April 22 2014 4:59 PM

Lily Allen Continues to Troll Us With Wacky Menstruation Anthem, “Sheezus”

In the title track of Lily Allen’s third album Sheezus, out next month, the controversial singer starts off griping about her media treatment, saying that no matter how “dumb” and “embarrassing” it may be, she’s “ready for all the comparisons.” And in another bit of brazen trolling, she proceeds to call out the industry’s biggest female names—Rihanna, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Lorde, and Lady Gaga—in the chorus, offering either genuine praise or a backhanded compliment: “We’re all watching Gaga, lol a ha/ Dying for the art, so really she’s a martyr.” She then demands they “give her the crown, bitch.”

That alone should be enough to get feminists’ blood boiling, but it’s her bizarre tangent on menstruation that’ll really raise a few eyebrows:

April 22 2014 2:38 PM

How to Knead Bread Dough

There are two main benefits associated with making yeast bread from scratch. The first is that you get to eat bread fresh from the oven. The second is that you get to knead dough, and kneading dough is fun.

It’s pretty easy to get the hang of kneading, once you’ve seen it done. But how do you know when your dough has been kneaded enough? Watch our video to learn a couple of handy rules of thumb.

April 22 2014 1:31 PM

President Obama Wrote a Letter to the Family and Friends of Frankie Knuckles

The death of house pioneer Frankie Knuckles has led to a number of tributes in recent weeks, but now he has received a special one from a fellow Chicagoan: President Obama.

As Pitchfork points out, Obama helped declare that August 25 was Frankie Knuckles Day in Chicago back in 2004, when Obama was just an Illinois state senator. Now this morning DJ David Morales, whose Def Mix agency represented Knuckles, has posted to Facebook the letter that Knuckles’ family and friends received from Barack and Michelle Obama. You can read the letter below.

April 22 2014 12:29 PM

The Top 5 Fight Scenes, as Broken Down by the Director of The Raid

If you’ve seen The Raid or its new sequel The Raid 2: Berandal, you know director Gareth Evans knows his fight scenes. The first movie, which came out in 2011, was more or less one uninterrupted brawl—including some of the best choreography and action cinematography in years—and The Raid 2 only ups the ante.

With the sequel in theaters, /Film’s David Chen talked to the director about his top 5 fight scenes, and then edited the discussion over footage of the scenes. The result is a great look at Evans’ inspirations—from Jackie Chan to Jet Li to They Liveand the kind of craft and ingenuity that goes into planning out and shooting a truly great fight scene.

April 22 2014 12:08 PM

People Would Much Rather Meet Amy Poehler Than Pitbull, Billy Eichner Hilariously Proves

The entire conceit of Billy On the Street, a “game show” hosted by loud, obnoxious man-child Billy Eichner, is to bombard random strangers on the streets of New York City and challenge them to pop culture trivia. Often, he'll bring along a celebrity to participate in his madness, and in this latest sketch he's enlisted his Parks & Recreation co-star Amy Poehler once again.

The game they play this time is called, "It's not Pitbull—it's Amy Poehler!" On paper, it seems incredibly stupid. In real life, it's perfectly hilarious:

April 22 2014 11:53 AM

Bastille’s “Pompeii” Reimagined as a Tribute to Mad Men and 1969

Postmodern Jukebox has made a name for itself reimagining pop songs in surprising genres, but their latest mashup does something new. They took Bastille’s “Pompeii” and mixed in some of the music of 1969, when the current season of Mad Men is set.

They kick off with a nod to a British Invasion band you probably haven’t listened to enough, then melt into their other samplings fluidly, incorporating the Mad Men theme song and a bit of the chanting found in Bastille’s original version.

April 22 2014 10:47 AM

Stream the New Album From Damon Albarn, Everyday Robots

Blur frontman and Gorillaz mastermind Damon Albarn has been making music for more than two decades, working on everything from side projects to supergroups to Chinese-language operas, but next week he’s doing something new: releasing his first solo album.

While some of the previews of the album suggested something more upbeat, it’s actually very melancholy (sample choruses include “It’s hard to be a lover when the TV’s on” and “If you’re lonely, press play”), exploring the isolation we can feel when so many of our experiences are mediated by technology. On the opener and title track, “Everyday Robots,” Albarn begins, “We are everyday robots on our phones … Out there on our own.” In other words, it’s the perfect album to stream right now, via iTunes, on your tablet, computer, or iPhone.

April 22 2014 10:00 AM

Brian Williams Does “Gin and Juice” With Jimmy Fallon’s Help

It’s an old trick by now, but always, it seems, a good one: Jimmy Fallon’s minions at The Tonight Show turned a bunch of Brian Williams clips into a word-for-word cover of a hip-hop classic, and it is highly amusing. Enjoy.

April 21 2014 9:17 PM

Stream Pixies' First Album in 23 Years, Indie Cindy

Over the weekend, Pixies released a brand-new single, "Women of War," with a special edition of Indie Cindy, their first album in 23 years. Today the band continued that generosity, uploading the entire album online for streaming in advance of its April 28 release date.

Unlike "Women of War," Indie Cindy won't sound new to fans: the record is really just a compilation of the band's three most recent EPs (the creatively titled EP1, EP2, and EP3), all of which were released in the past year.

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