Slate's Culture Blog

Oct. 28 2014 8:40 PM

Maya Angelou Describes Her Stepfather’s Greatest Con, and the Racist Who Fell for It

When Maya Angelou died in May, it was hard to digest the full scope of her influence. It still is: in poetry and politics, Angelou displayed a profound, life-affirming wisdom that inspired millions of people. The latest installment of Blank on Blank captures a tiny bit of that wisdom—it’s a conversation between Studs Terkel and Angelou about the greatest long con her stepfather, Daddy Clidell, ever pulled.

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Oct. 28 2014 7:36 PM

Belle & Sebastian Are Back to Dance Again on Their New Single

Belle & Sebastian are back with their first single since 2010’s Write About Love, and it’s positively danceable. Playfully returning to the ’80s synth grooves of albums likeDear Catastrophe Waitress and The Life Pursuit, “The Party Line” is not so much a new direction as a renewed commitment to an old sound—and a suggestion that the title of their just-announced forthcoming album, Girls In Peacetime Want To Dance, may be a clue to its sound.

Oct. 28 2014 7:09 PM

Hear Kanye’s Classic-Sounding New Verse on Theophilus London’s “Can’t Stop”

While most fans are feverishly waiting for Kanye West to let loose his follow-up to last year’s polarizingYeezus, that’s not the only music he has in store for us. In addition to that forthcoming album, executive-producing Tyga’s seemingly stuck-in-limbo next album, and working on Big Sean’s next album, he’s also the executive producer on Brooklyn rapper and singer Theophilus London’s sophomore album Vibes. (London has also said he’s featured on a single from West’s new album.) Now that London’s album is streaming today via SoundCloud ahead of its Nov. 4 release, we finally get to hear standout track “Can’t Stop,” the only song that features a verse from Kanye.

Oct. 28 2014 4:50 PM

Marvel Announces Eight New Movies, Including Its First for Black and Female Superheroes

Just two weeks after Warner Bros. and DC Comics revealed their slate of superhero movies for the rest of the decade, today Marvel announced its own equally big-name roster of films for the next five years. That list, according to a press conference, will include:

- May 6, 2016: Captain America: Civil War
- Nov. 4, 2016: Doctor Strange
- May 5, 2017: Guardians of the Galaxy 2
- July 28, 2017: Thor: Ragnarok
- Nov. 3, 2017: Black Panther
- May 4, 2018: Avengers: Infinity War – Part I
- July 6, 2018: Captain Marvel
- Nov. 2, 2018: Inhumans
- May 3, 2019: Avengers: Infinity War – Part II

Oct. 28 2014 3:16 PM

Nicki Minaj Is Very Clear About Her Relationship With Drake and Lil Wayne on New Single

On Monday, Nicki Minaj became only the latest artist signed to Young Money to have their album delayed. (Sometimes it seems like the only artist who doesn’t see delays is Drake.) The Pinkprint, her long awaited third album originally scheduled for November, has now been pushed back to Dec. 15. Disappointing as that news is, she’s softened the blow today by serving up the album’s next single, “Only.” But though its title might suggest otherwise, the song is far from a solo effort for Minaj: joining her on the track are labelmates Drake and Lil Wayne as well as frequent collaborator Chris Brown—marking the first time former enemies Drake and Brown have ever appeared on a song together.

Oct. 28 2014 12:02 PM

The Horror Movie Music Quiz

Bahhhhh-dumBahhhh-dum! Horror movies contain some of the most iconic music in film history: screeching violins, ominous trombones, shuddersome synths.

For a Halloween treat, Slate picked 13 of the creepiest music clips in horror history. For each 10-second excerpt, can you name the film it’s from?

Oct. 28 2014 10:32 AM

Chickpeas Are the Halloween Candy of Legumes

This post originally appeared on Food52.

For the sake of your relationship with your children, I hope you made waffled grilled cheese for dinner yesterday and that you are making pasta carbonara tomorrow. Because tonight you will be having Brussels sprouts and chickpeas.

Think of it this way: You know how at dinner families are supposed to engage in the ritual known as dinner conversation? You know how children stubbornly refuse to acknowledge the existence of this ritual? Well, this problem is neatly solved by a meal of Brussels sprouts and chickpeas: There will be no stopping the conversation this evening. 

I am kidding, of course: Children love Brussels sprouts and chickpeas. Really, they do—or they might at least like them, if given the chance.

Oct. 27 2014 8:57 PM

George R.R. Martin Talks The World of Ice and Fire, Tolkien, and Dragon Fights

The World of Ice and Fire, George R.R. Martin’s sprawling companion guide to his sprawling Game of Thrones universe, is out Oct. 28. Martin recently visited 92Y for a lengthy discussion about the book, and it’s a must-see for fans eager to gain insight into the author’s process and philosophy in crafting such an impeccably rendered world.

Oct. 27 2014 6:40 PM

Ultron Will Go On and On

Judging from James Spader’s unnerving rendition of Pinocchio’s “I’ve Got No Strings” in the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, Joss Whedon seems to have something disturbing planned for the much-awaited superhero sequel. Who better to take the edge off than Céline Dion?

Oct. 27 2014 6:04 PM

Benedict Cumberbatch Might Be Doctor Strange

Not content with popping up in just two massively popular film franchises, Benedict Cumberbatch is reportedly “in negotiations” to star as Doctor Strange in the upcoming movie adaptation of the Marvel comic.

The news doesn’t seem to be set in stone quite yet: Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. sounds confident, but he doesn’t offer confirmation from anyone at Marvel or representing the actor that Cumberbatch will definitely get the part. Yet, as could be expected, Cumberbatch fans are excited to see him as the Sorcerer Supreme. The actor is about to appear in the prestige picture The Imitation Game, playing Alan Turing, a role that many observers expect to land him an Oscar nomination.

Other details about the movie are at a minimum at the moment. (Could the comics’ Illuminati storyline finally emerge in film form via Doctor Strange? That’d be interesting.) Scott Derrickson, who has mostly made horror movies (Deliver Us From Evil, most recently) is directing, and the movie is scheduled for a July 2016 release.